Wildlife Institute of India identifies 10 possible locations to setup GIB center in Rajasthan
Taking serious cognizance of declining GIB population, the central government last year decided to set up the centres along with Wildlife Institute of India (WII).jaipur Updated: May 15, 2017 07:22 IST
The Wildlife Institute of India has identified around 10 locations in Rajasthan to set up the country’s first Great Indian Bustard (GIB) captive breeding centre.
Taking serious cognizance of declining GIB population, the central government last year decided to set up the centres along with Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
Great Indian Bustard is the state bird of Rajasthan - during the past few years the number of GIB as per the census has decreased drastically.
Number of Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), locally known as Godawan, shrunk to 745 in 1978, 600 in 2001, 300 (2008) and 125 (2013). GIB is listed as critically endangered under the Wildlife Act 1972.
Based on scientific parameters, 10 locations have been identified in places like Jaisalmer, Tal Chappar (Churu) or Sonkhaliya in Ajmer, a senior official at WII told HT on condition of anonymity.
However, most likely it would be in Jaisalmer as maximum GIBs are found there.
He said this month a workshop would be held, which will be participated by officials from WII, state forest department, and experts from outside.
“Experts for breeding are not there in India, looking which people such as Keith Scotland will be roped, who is already running Houbara Bustard breeding center in Abu Dubai,” he said.
The WII official said: “We have already met the chief minister, who has assured full support in setting up the centre as the specie needs to be conserved.”
A senior state forest official said the centre will be first in India. GIBs are found in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Rajasthan has the maximum number of GIB followed by Gujarat.
“In natural conditions the breeding of GIBs is slow and even survival chances are less be it due to predators or any other reason,” the official said on the need of setting up a centre.
Looking to the declining population of the GIBs, the central government had initiated Species Recovery Program (SRP) in 2015-16, under which financial assistance is provided.
Under SRP, in 2015-16 the Centre had sanctioned ₹108.93 lakh and ₹129.94 lakh (2016-17).
Another official said: “The state government to protect the specie is developing additional closures, developing grass land and constructing predator proof fencing in GIBs breeding areas.”
He said: “Till date, we have renovated 4,700 hectare old closures and constructed 3,175 hectare new closures. In addition to this new closures in 1,000 hectare will be developed.”