The Great Indian Bustard or GIB (Ardeotis nigriceps) is a unique, grassland species that was once distributed across 11 states in western India and the Deccan Plateau. Over the past few decades, the GIB populations have considerably declined across the range states, mainly due to extensive degradation of grassland habitats coupled with emerging threats from collision with high tension power lines, changing land-use, degrading grasslands and depredation by free ranging dogs and pigs. The species is nearly at the verge of extinction, and has been categorised as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN.
At present, the GIB populations in India are too small and fragmented. The only opportunity to potentially recover this species remains in the Thar landscape of Rajasthan, where the birds are now limited to two extant populations – one inside Desert (National Park) Sanctuary near Jaisalmer, and the second population located in the grasslands and agricultural lands of Pokhran and Ramdeora.
Learn More: Great Indian Bustard Program