In a factual report submitted by the state forest department following the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), it has been stated that there are about Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in the Jaisalmer area of the Desert National Park in Thar.
This claim by the Rajasthan Forest Department is contrary to that by the Wildlife Institute of India which had estimated a total population of GIB at 150 for whole India.
Fact Box: Great Indian Bustard
Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps
IUCN status: Critically Endangered
Plea before NGT
A petition filed by the Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL) stating that wind power projects and transmission lines were proving to be a major hazard for the survival of the endangered species in the desert area and most of the wind power projects are located in the natural habitat of the GIB in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Due to their weight, GIBs cannot fly at a high altitude. As a result, they caught in power lines.
Even the 30th Forest Advisory Committee report had advised ensuring that transmission lines in the natural habitats of GIBs should pass underground.
The petition claimed that the Rajasthan government is not doing enough to conserve the critically endangered species. No effort has been made to install ‘bird diverters’ on these power lines. Further, no measure has been taken to curb the menace of feral dogs and foxes in the park.