As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Beleaguered bustards

The declining fortunes of many bird species in India, and the likelihood that some of the critically endangered ones would barely exist in a small part of their historical range in coming years call for a serious review of conservation efforts. There are 145 avian species in the country facing various levels of threat according to a list compiled for the current year by IUCN, an international conservation organisation. Among the birds that face a bleak future is the great Indian bustard. By some estimates, less than 250 representatives of this heavy, terrestrial species survive today. Research insight points to the peculiarities of its grassland habitat, growing pressures from cattle grazing and expanding farming activity as significant causes for its depletion. The Bombay Natural History Society, after a lot of study, has expressed worry at the lack of a comprehensive approach to conservation. A comeback for the great Indian bustard, as well as the lesser florican and Bengal florican belonging to the same family, will now depend on a conservation programme that is based in science and quickly builds community support. Rajasthan has the largest known population of the great Indian bustard and has done well to allocate resources to aid a dedicated effort.

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