|Great Indian bustards|
As part of a plan to increase a wildlife conservation program in Gujarat, the state government has allowed 1,500 hectares of land in Kutch district for developing habitat for the great Indian bustard. According to M. Thennarasan, district collector of Kutch district, this was done upon the request of the forest department for the conservation of the critically endangered bird. The land stands near the Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, and is spread across a two square-kilometer area in Nalia taluka which is considered to be the best breeding ground for the bustards. The last census conducted in 2007 showed that there were 47 birds in the sanctuary. Chief Conservator of Forest D.K Sharma stated that the area given is presently damaged, as a result of agriculture and human intrusion. For this reason, the forest department will first stop any form of human activity and then develop the habitat. Mr. Sharma further added that they are also planning to ask the government of India to declare the area as an eco-fragile zone under the Environment Protection Act. In addition to that, forest officials stated that plans to cover over 3,500 hectares for the same purpose is still under consideration.
I'm very happy and proud to see what the government of Gujarat is doing, in order to help the great Indian bustard. This news clearly shows how another state, besides Maharashtra, has taken an initiative in helping to revive its population in India. Most of the articles I've been writing about primarily deal with the bustard population in Maharashtra alone. This magnificent bird also thrives in Gujarat and Rajasthan, where its numbers are said to be highest. However, a recent report by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has found that the bustard population has been shrinking rapidly. The birds have disappeared from about ninety percent of their range, while approximately 75 percent decline has been seen within a three-generation time scale. But now, with this plan to convert more land into its habitat along with other strategies, the bustard maybe on the verge of making a comeback. It is all going to depend on the involvement of those who are helping, and those who want to help bring this bird back from the brink of extinction.
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