The ERDS Foundation

THT Action Grant 2022

Project Name:

Community Conservation of Great Indian Bustard in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Project Brief:

The Great Indian Bustard (GIB) is facing a critically rapid decline due to poaching and habitat loss. It is a critically endangered species — with only 20-30 breeding females left. This bird, which was once present in 11 states across India, is now only present in five. 90% of this bird’s remaining population, and the only remaining breeding population, is housed in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

What this bird needs in order to thrive is a mix-use land pattern, that is land interspersed with natural grasslands and agricultural fields. In Jaisalmer, the GIB is trying to survive on land separated by a huge number of windmills, solar parks and a web of high energy transmission lines.

The ERDS Foundation plans to create habitats ideal for the bird species to live and breed, by restoring arid grasslands, monitoring its free-ranging populations, and strengthening the anti-poaching network. They will work in a conservation model that encourages locals to come forward to make their farms a suitable habitat for the Great Indian Bustard.

Project objectives:
  • To create suitable habitat patches and develop Sewan grasslands on community-owned landscape (nursery development, seed sowing through seed balls, etc).
  • Monitoring the free-ranging GIB population through the GIB Mitra program.
  • Anti-poaching work through community network and GIB Mitra volunteers in GIB landscape.
  • Empowering the GIB Mitra (community volunteers) with more technical skills.
Highlights from field:
  • This project is ongoing.