New Delhi: The population of Great Indian Bustard, a critically endangered species, is estimated to be less than 300 now and its numbers are declining owing to alteration of its habitats due to industrialisation, mining and agricultural practices, the government today said.
"The Great Indian Bustard is one of the cricially endangered species of birds in India and is confined in six states -- Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
"Population of this species is estimated to be less than 300. The population of this species is declining due to alteration of important bustard habitats due to industrialisation, mining, intensive agricultural practices, etc," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told Lok Sabha in a written reply.
He said that the Gujarat government has submitted a Species Recovery Plan of Rs 187.13 crores for a period of ten years for Great Indian Bustards to the Union government for financial assistance during 2014-15 and the proposal has been examined by the ministry.
He said that the proposal for rationalisation of Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary was recieved by the ministry which was recommended by the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife in its 36th meeting.
"The recommendation of the Standing Committee has been forwarded to the Maharashtra government," Javadekar said.
He said that the species has also been identified as one of the species component under "recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats" of the centrally sponsored scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habibats.
Financial assistance of Rs 65.36 lakh and Rs 110.63 lakh has also been provided to Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the current financial year for conservation of the species, he said.