Rajasthan government’s efforts for conserving the state bird show colors finally. For a change, there’s some good news regarding Rajasthan’s GIB or Great Indian Bustard (also known as Godawan), a bird that is nearly extinct. This Wednesday, folks sighted an egg of bustard at Ramdeora enclosure in Jaisalmer’s Desert National Park. For those who don’t know, this is the first egg in the ongoing breeding season for Rajasthan’s state bird.
Just last month, the officers from DNP sighted 17 adult birds near the enclosures made near the Pokhran field firing range. The government banned illegal cultivation and poaching in the park to ensure that the Bustards don’t experience any disturbance during the breeding season.
According to Mr. Anoop K R (DNP Deputy Conservator of Forest), the authorities observed necessary precautions to reinforce existing safety measures in the park. They set up special ‘predator-proof’ coops in Ramdeora, Sudasari, and other strategic locations. The enclosures were made by cementing a chain-link fence one meter below the ground.
60 cages were placed at various locations in DNP and adjoining satellite areas to protect the breeding grounds of the great Indian bustard. The authorities placed water guzzlers near the cages and employed officers to ensure the safety of mothers and their chicks.
Illegal farming is a common practice during the monsoon season. Knowing this, the forest authorities patrolled the area on several occasions to control human encroachment. They barred the villagers from entering the park and took strict action against a few villagers practicing illegal farming near the enclosures.
A couple of months back, they saw around 15 birds near the Ramdeora region. So far, they didn’t see any female birds in the open, which is a good sign. It means the female birds are probably sitting on the eggs.
It isn’t the first time when the government made efforts to conserve the GIBs. They’ve undertaken several initiatives between 2013 and 2016, under the ‘Project Bustard and Rajasthan Forestry and Biodiversity Project.’