World For Nature

Rajasthan SB

Rajasthan – Great Indian Bustard

Great Indian Bustard

Common Name: Great Indian Bustard

Local Name: Godavan (Rajasthan), Hookna (Hindi)

Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigriceps Vigors

Description: Of the four bustard species present in India, the Great Indian Bustard is the largest and one of the heaviest-flying in the world. It is a huge, ground-dwelling bird with a brownish body and a black patch with white spots on it. The bird’s distinctive black crown on its forehead, which stands out against its pale head and neck, makes it easy to identify. The bird resembles an ostrich because of its long, naked legs. During the breeding season, the male birds, who have a deep sandy buff color, have a black breast band. The female birds have a less pristine white head and neck and a crude breast band. They are also smaller than the males.

Threats: Reduction in unaltered arid grassland habitats (irrigation canals have changed the dry semi-desert regions in some parts of Rajasthan where the species is found), hunting and/or poaching, lack of protection for numerous lekking and nesting sites, overgrazing by cattle, and predatory feral dogs. The Great Indian Bustard’s ideal habitats have been replaced by a complex web of interconnected wind turbines and electricity connections. This hefty bird cannot see the high-tension electric lines until it is too late since it travels at low altitudes and has weak frontal vision.

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