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Great Indian Bustard

Great Indian Bustard

Great Indian Bustard is a big land bird found in India and Pakistan. It’s one of the largest flying birds globally and goes by different names in various regions like Maldhok, Yerbhoot, Ghorad, Godawan, Tuqdar, Sohan Chidia, and more. Salim Ali, a famous Indian bird expert, really liked the idea of making the Great Indian Bustard the national bird of India.

What is Great Indian Bustard?

The Great Indian Bustard (GIB), also known as Godavan locally, is the state bird of Rajasthan, India.

    • The bird is known as the “flagship grassland species” and is said to signify the ecology’s health.
    • It is the largest native bird of the Indian subcontinent that can fly. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the states that are native to the Great Indian Bustard.
    • Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh are home to a small portion of its population.
    • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the feathered creature is critically endangered because it has been hunted and experienced habitat loss as a result of extensive changes in agricultural practices and other factors.
    • It has also been struck by power transmission lines and received electric shocks from those impacts, owing to its poor eyesight. Many initiatives have been taken up by the Indian government to conserve the species.


    • The Great Indian Bustard is a pretty tall bird, kind of like an ostrich. It stands at about one meter tall.
    • What makes it unique is the black cap on its head and neck, which really sets it apart from other birds.
    • Its wings have a mix of black, brown, and grey markings, while the rest of its body is a light brown color.
    • You can tell whether it’s a guy or a girl by looking at their feathers.
    • The dude bustard is 1.1–1.20 meters long and weighs 8–18 kg. During the dating season, it gets this cool black breast band.
    • The lady bustard is smaller, weighing between 3.5 and 6.75 kg.
    • Even though the Great Indian Bustard is the biggest flying bird in its home turf, there are a couple of bigger birds out there – the Kori Bustard and the Great Bustard.

    Distribution and Habitat of Great Indian Bustard

    • The habitat of the Great Indian Bustard consists of arid and semi-arid grasslands with scattered short shrubs, bushes, and low-intensity cropping. It avoids irrigated areas.
    • GIBs are heavy-flying birds that prefer grasslands as their habitat. They spend most of their time on the ground and only fly short distances between different areas.
    • As the flagship bird species of grasslands, GIBs serve as indicators of the ecosystem’s health.
    • Their diet includes grass seeds, insects, lizards, and more.
    • The historical range of GIBs once covered a significant part of the Indian subcontinent, but now it has been reduced to approximately 10% of its previous extent.
    • The Great Indian Bustard, previously widespread in Pakistan and India, is now found only in a few specific locations in both countries.
    • They used to be present in 11 states in India but are now only found in the following 6 states.
    • Andhra Pradesh
    • Gujarat
    • Karnataka
    • Maharashtra
    • Madhya Pradesh
    • Rajasthan

    Conservation of Great Indian Bustard

    Many conservation measures are being taken to protect the GIB, including:

      Habitat protection: The Indian government has set up special areas in places like the Desert National Park in Rajasthan and the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh to protect the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). These places are like cozy homes for GIBs and help keep them safe from things like poaching.

      Captive breeding: Some smart people in zoos and research places in India have started special programs. They’re like schools for baby GIBs, teaching them the ways of the wild. The plan is to release these trained little GIBs into nature to make more GIB families.

      Awareness raising: Conservation organizations are working to raise awareness about the GIB and its plight. This includes educating local communities about the importance of the GIB and the need to protect it.

      Read Also: Great Indian Bustard or Great Godawans

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