Great Indian Bustards and Wind Turbines, Desert National Park, Rajasthan

by Aristo Mendis
Aristo Mendis

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Deserts are often wrongly perceived as wastelands; yet they are home to many critically endangered species that cannot survive elsewhere. We need to change the way such habitats are viewed or 'developed'.

With just about 150-200 surviving in the wild, the fate of the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) already seems bleak. A significant population of these birds remain in Desert National Park, Rajasthan, the last stronghold for the critically endangered bird. The presence of wind turbines very close to the Great Indian Bustard enclosures near Sam Village in Desert National Park increase the bird’s potential life-threatening risks. Additionally, such enclosures (which form only about 4% of the park’s total area) are frequently raided by encroachers, livestock and feral dogs.  The image was taken during a visit to Desert National Park in March 2016.


Editor’s note: In mid-2013, Conservation India ran a campaign to urge Rajasthan’s political leadership to act urgently to save its state bird. In response, the government launched ‘Project Great Indian Bustard’ that is focused on strengthening conservation measures in Desert National Park.

About the author

Aristo Mendis

Aristo is a master's student of Ecology and Environmental Sciences from Pondicherry University, interested in human-wildlife conflict.



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