Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) constituted an expert committee to balance the conservation of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB) with India’s commitments to promote renewable sources of energy. 

More on the news

  • In April 2021, the court ordered a complete ban on installing overhead transmission lines across a vast area of 80,688 square kilometres.

The court was addressing a PIL, highlighting the GIB’s near-extinction status and non-compliance with previous court orders.

  • Previous orders included replacing overhead cables with underground ones and installing bird diverters in priority areas.
  • The expert committee will focus on identifying priority areas for rehabilitation and come up with specific plans for those areas.
  • Committee members include experts from various wildlife and environmental organizations, along with government officials. The committee has to file its report in the apex court on or before July 31. 

About Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

  • GIB is an agro-grassland bird endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. Known locally as Godawan in Rajasthan,
  • Scientific Name: Ardeotis nigricep.

Habitat Features:

  • Dry grasslands and scrublands with minimal obstructions for visibility.


  • A majority of the GIB population left in the wild is in the arid grasslands of Thar, Rajasthan (about 120), distributed in the Desert National Park and the Pokhran Field Firing Range.


  • It is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world.
  • It has a horizontal body with long bare legs, giving it an ostrich-like appearance.
  • The male has a black cap contrasting with a pale head and neck, and a brownish body with a black patch spotted in white.
  • During the breeding season, the male displays a deep sandy buff-coloured body with a black breast band and a crested black crown.
  • The female is smaller than the male, with less distinct markings and a less developed breast band.
  • Both males and females possess a gular pouch, which is inflated during display and helps produce deep resonant calls.
  • GIBs belong to the Otididae family and show sexual dimorphism, with males having a distinctive gular pouch important for mating displays.
  • These birds are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

Conservation Status:

  • IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered (since 2011)
  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972 (India): Schedule I (highest protection)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I. 

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