Rajasthan’s state bird Great Indian Bustard which is locally known as Godawan is clearly on the verge of extinction.
The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) or Indian bustard is found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. It is a large bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs, giving it an ostrich like appearance, this bird is among the heaviest of the flying birds. Once common on the dry plains of the Indian subcontinent, as few as 250 individuals were estimated in 2011 to survive and the species is critically endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat, which consists of large expanses of dry grassland and scrub. These birds are often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck.

This species is listed as Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small population that has undergone an extremely rapid decline owing to a multitude of threats including habitat loss and degradation, hunting and direct disturbance.
The species occurs in the Indian Subcontinent, with former strongholds in the Thar desert in the north-west.
Activities such as mining, stone quarrying, growth of industries, heavy pesticide use, grassland conversion and power projects along with the expansion of roads, electricity pylons, wind turbines, solar energy projects and other infrastructures have increased the severity of habitat degradation and disturbance.

Author: Divya Vashishth