Along the lines of Project Tiger and Project Elephant, the central government is expected to introduce the Project Great Indian Bustard (GIB) to save the last surviving GIBs of India. Karnataka is among the six states in the country where the last surviving 400 GIBs are found today. These birds require open grasslands and feed on lizards and insects.
In Karnataka, according to a recent estimate there are 20 birds spread in three districts of the state. If urgent measures are not initiated, the GIB will soon be extinct from the state, claim avian experts. An official from the MoEF confirmed that the central government had shown keen interest in saving three wildlife species on the verge of extinction. The GIBs, Red Pandas and the snow leopards of Himalayas will now be covered under respective Projects so that special allocation of funds and men for their protection can be provided. “The Projects to save these endangered species is expected to be cleared in the 12th Pay Commission. As far as the GIB is concerned there are still some patches of grasslands left in the state and measures are being taken so that the bird population can be revived in the state, said the official.
Eighty per cent of the 400-500 GIBs in India live in Rajasthan and the rest are found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In the state, the birds are found in the outskirts of Bengaluru, Bellary, Koppal and Gadag districts. The last GIB sighting in Ranebennur, which had a decent numbers of the birds, was reported in 1998. “We were called to discuss about the GIB in New Delhi last year. We are hoping to receive some funds to declare certain areas in the state as protected areas for the birds. Though there have been several attempts to bring back Bustards in the Ranebennur region, the state Forest department’s main focus will be in Hatcholli, in Sirguppa Taluk of Bellary where around 7-8 birds are living,” said a senior officer from the Wildlife Division.
Critically Endangered Indian Bustard from Wikipedia