SUBJECT :The state forest department has received a shot in the arm after the Centre green-lighted two ambitious conservation projects involving the Great Indian Bustard and Long-billed Vultures. 

The Great Indian bustard.

By: Niranjan Kaggere.

Bengaluru, January 18, 2020: The state forest department has received a shot in the arm after the Centre green-lighted two ambitious conservation projects involving the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) and Long-billed Vultures.

Funds for reviving the critically endangered avian species are likely to be allocated in the forthcoming budget, with the state government hoping to come up with facilities in Ballari and Ramanagara in a couple of years.

Giving details on the projects, Forest Minister CC Patil said the state government has chalked out detailed plans to revive the population of birds.

“While the Bustard population will be revived at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore, the vulture population will be revived at a cost of Rs 1.30 crore,” the minister said on the sidelines of the sixth edition of the Karnataka Bird Festival-2020.

The government’s move to revive the population and festival like Karnataka Bird Festival. According to the minister, will shift focus from the tiger and elephant-centric eco-tourism to other aspects of the biodiversity.

The forest department has already identified Siruguppa in Ballari district for conservation of the GIB population.

“The Centre has approved the projects. In the first phase, we will take up work on developing the habitat at Siruguppa,” said Sanjai Mohan,Principal Chief Conservator of Forest ( Wildlife) told DH.

“Lateron, we will decide on getting the bird species from a breeding centre in Rajasthan. Their earlier habitat at Ranibennur has been systematically destroyed by planting eucalyptus and acacia and hence a conducive habitat has to be developed close to Siruguppa.”

Similary, an artificial breeding centre will be set up at Ramadevara Betta in Ramanagar to revive the population of long-billed vultures.

“There are no sign of vultures breeding at Ramadevara Betta Vulture Sanctuary and their numbers have also been coming down,” said Mohan, who is also the Chief Wildlife Wrden.

“Hence, we came up with the plan to set up the breeding centre similar to the ones at Haryana and Gujarat. The eggs in the wild will be collected and brought to the centre for hatching. Even in the wild, eggs do not properly hatch and hence there needs to be intervention.

According to officials, the required facilities will come up at both the places within two years.


Source: www.deccanherald.com