Emergency campaign lauched to save GIBs

Emergency campaign lauched to save GIBs

A GIB that collided with high-tension power lines and was electrocuted near the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary in Gujarat.

Three wildlife organisations came together to launch an emergency campaign to save the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB). 

With a global population of fewer than 150 individuals, experts believe that this may be the first species to go extinct in independent India. 

Rajasthan is the last stronghold of the GIB, followed by Gujarat. 

This grassland species is now extinct from 95 per cent of its range.

The Corbett Foundation has launched the campaign in collaboration with Conservation India and Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

The campaign highlights that the overhead power transmission lines that surround Great Indian Bustard habitat are the primary threat to the survival of the species. 

Great Indian Bustards are low flying birds with a limited field of vision and are prone to power line collisions. The campaign asks that India’s Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy take action to place the riskiest power lines safely underground.

This solution has also been recommended by the Wildlife Institute of India’s Endangered Species Recovery Program.

“It will be an international shame and disappointment if India is unable to prevent the extinction of the Great Indian Bustard, despite all the scientific know-how and financial resources available.

Unfortunately, this 'Great Indian' bird didn’t receive early support from our politicians, policy-makers, corporate sector, and the general public. This is our last chance to prevent its extinction -  by providing it with ample habitat, safe flying space and non-toxic food to make sure their population bounces back,” said Kedar Gore, Director of The Corbett Foundation.

The campaign also draws attention to the ecological importance of grasslands which are tragically designated as wastelands.

In the few days since the campaign was launched, over 5,000 people have signed the online petition to Union Power Minister R.K. Singh, including celebrities such as actress Dia Mirza and former cricketer Anil Kumble who have also tweeted their support for GIB conservation.

The campaign organisers have also requested a meeting with the Minister to present their case and receive a commitment to action from him.


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