JAIPUR: In a major success in the effort to save the critically endangered great Indian bustard, the Rajasthan government has informed the High Court that at least 5 such birds have been artificially hatched in the Jaisalmer district.
Earlier, a joint team of the state forest department and Wildlife Institute of India had collected seven eggs from the Desert National Park area two of which have not been saved yet, said the government.
Divisional bench of HC, comprising Justice Sangeet Lodha and Vinit Kumar, were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) over the issue of the conservation of the bird.
Additional advocate general Sandeep Shah told the court that the state government had given the permission for collection of 10 great Indian bustard eggs and that captive breeding will play an important role in saving the bird. In Rajasthan where it is found in maximum , the bird’s population has come down to about 70 but the official numbers are stated to be around 100. According to the surveys conducted by WII, the bird’s number has reduced by 80 % in the last 30 years.
According to wild life expert Harshwardhan, the major reason behind the population of the bird decreasing continuously is that it lays just one egg in a year .
“They deliver eggs on the ground which becomes the food of reptiles and predators and is sometimes crushed under the feet of cattle,” said Harshwardhan.