15 June 2021.
The Great Indian Bustards are heaviest flying creatures on earth. They are slow to manoeuvre while flying. They have poor frontal vision and a habit of scanning earth while flying. As they fly over flat grasslands across western borders of India, they often collide with power lines.
Where is the problem?
- Wide-open regions are home to Indian Bustard.
- These regions are also an ideal location for wind and solar projects.
- As a result, the installation of renewable energy resources is hampering the movement of Indian Bustards.
- Efforts to save bustard could put a setback to India’s climate goals, which depend heavily on availability of such wasteland.
- As per Wildlife institute of India (WII), 80 kilometres of power lines across Thar desert region Rajasthan led to death of four bustards during a single year because of high-transmission wires. Birds died because of impact of collision or electrocution.
In a bid to protect great Indian bustard from flying into power lines, of 20 gigawatts of awarded solar & wind projects, Supreme Court had asked the companies to install these powers lines underground. But this directive would cost an extra expense of $4 billion.
About Great Indian bustards
- In Old French, Great Indian Bustards means “slow bird”.
- They are 1 meter tall with a wing span of about 2 meters.
- They weigh about 18 kilograms.
- They are found on Indian subcontinent.
- According to an estimate their number has reduced from 250 in 2011 to 150 in 2018.
- Thus, they have been listed in “critically endangered” species by birdlife international and are protected under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 of India.