Great Indian Bustards and related conflict with Power Lines.

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.

WII survey

  • 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.

SC’s order

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.

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