×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

BNHS welcomes Rajasthan govt’s decision to declare the Lesser Florican Conservation Reserve in Ajmer

The Mumbai-headquartered Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), which is working for the conservation of Lesser Florican, has welcomed the move
Last Updated : 11 April 2023, 17:22 IST
Last Updated : 11 April 2023, 17:22 IST
Last Updated : 11 April 2023, 17:22 IST
Last Updated : 11 April 2023, 17:22 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

The smallest of the bustard family, Lesser Florican, which is renowned for its spectacular leaping breeding display, faces a severe threat. However, as part of conservation initiatives, the Rajasthan government has declared the Lesser Florican Conservation Reserve in Ajmer district of Rajasthan. The conservation reserve is spread over 931 ha of grassland.

The Mumbai-headquartered Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), which is working for the conservation of Lesser Florican, has welcomed the move.

The bird is only found in India and as per the estimation, only less than 700 mature individual birds are left in India and it is on the verge of extinction.

"The Lesser Florican is the smallest bird of the bustard family which was formerly a common game bird of Indian grasslands. But now its global population is 250-300 males confined in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan, with an IUCN status of CR (Critically Endangered)," said Kishor Rithe, Hon. BNHS Secretary.

The BNHS has started working with the Rajasthan Forest Department on its conservation project in 2017. BNHS scientists and their teams collected data regarding its status, distribution, behavior, habitat, etc. in Rajasthan with the help of local communities and the forest department.

“Our teams identified 26 sites (73 locations) spread across 50 villages in Ajmer district and recorded many important observations on its strong site fidelity; its movements in the grasslands and croplands before settling down in its breeding site," said scientist Dr Sujit Narwade, Assistant Director, BNHS and project head working in Rajasthan and other parts of India. The data and observations recorded by BNHS are now helping Rajasthan Forest Department to take policy decisions to save this species from extinction.

Change from traditional crops like Jowar, Moong, and Urad growing up to a height of 50–100 cm to irrigated cash crops and the use of heavy machines and music systems on tractors seems to be affecting the birds in this landscape, Narwade said. An increase in free-ranging dogs, land use changes, chemical spray, uncontrolled tourism, and unavailability of grasslands were recorded as threats to be addressed immediately.

“As the government has issued the notification, the conservation efforts will be expedited now," said Rithe.

Lesser Florican mainly breeds in the North-west part of India in monsoon and spend winter in the Deccan plateau. Therefore, the participation of locals is essential for the survival of the species which requires mosaics of the grasslands and crop fields. Interstate and interdepartmental coordination are the keys to saving the species from extinction.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 11 April 2023, 17:20 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT