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64 Great Indian Bustard counted in National Desert Park, Jaisalmer

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 27-05-2024
64 Great Indian Bustard counted  in National Desert Park, Jaisalmer Rajasthan 5 min read

64 Great Indian Bustard was spotted during the annual waterhole survey conducted in the National Desert Park, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. In the last 2022 census, 42 birds were counted using the waterhole technique . No census was conducted in 2023 due to rains caused by the western disturbances. 

The Great Indian Bustard bird, also known as Godawan, is the state bird of Rajasthan. The Great Indian Bustard is a critically endangered species which mainly lives in dry grasslands.

It is a terrestrial bird with a black crown on the forehead contrasting with the pale neck and head. These have a brownish body, and the wings are marked with black, brown, and grey.

Waterhole Census of Great Indian Bustard in Jaisalmer 

Wildlife conservationists often use the waterhole technique during the summer to count the wildlife in an area. Forest officials construct water holes in the forest area for wildlife to drink. 

In 2024, the forest officials set up 42 points in the National Desert Park. 84 Officers were  

Deployed on the watchtowers built near the waterhole during the census period.

The census was conducted on 23 May for 24 hours, which was also the Vaishakh Purnima (full moon night). The census of the Great Indian Bustards was done only in Ramdevra and Jaisalmer. Due to safety issues, no census was conducted in the area of Desert Park, which falls under the Army's firing range.

Why Census is done on Vaishakh Purnima?

According to the experts, the census is done on Vaishakh Purnima as it is a full moon; hence, animals or birds can be spotted easily without the use of artificial lights. Also, this period is generally very hot, and the temperature regularly crosses 45 degrees Celsius in the area,  forcing the wildlife to come and drink water at least once every 24 hours.

Where was the Great Indian Bustard Found?

According to the forest officials, 21 Great Indian Bustards were counted in the Ramdevra region, while 43 were observed in the Sipla, Sudasari, Gazai Mata, Jamra, Chouhani, and Barna areas of Jaisalmer. 

The forest officials also counted more than 1000 Chinkaras, 30 Desert Cats, 150 Foxes and more than 100 Vultures.

Great Indian Bustard is a Protected Species 

The Great Indian Bustard is a highly endangered species. It has been put into Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, which provides it with the highest level of legal protection.

The bird is also listed in Schedule I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Steps taken to conserve the Great Indian Bustard

In 2019, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Rajasthan Forest Department (RFD), and Wildlife Institute of India established a breeding centre at Sam in Jaisalmer to increase the number of Godawans. 

The other breeding centre at Ramdevra was operationalised in 2022.

The Ministry of Environment also identified it as a species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats.

Great Indian Bustard in India 

According to the Union Ministry of Wildlife Institute of India, as of August 2023, there were 150 Great Indian Bustards in India.

 Out of this, 128 were in Rajasthan, while the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka account for less than 10 birds each.


Answer: Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Answer: Great Indian Bustard, locally known as Godawan.


Answer: Maximum in Rajasthan and found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka

Answer: Sam and Ramdevra
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