The forest department is looking at a landscape approach to conservation as far as saving the Great Indian Bustard is concerned. The landscape approach refers to conserving a particular species through means and ways that ensure the sustenance of both the wildlife and the people associated with the area in a mutually beneficial manner.
It should be noted that the forest department has already come up with species recovery programme for the Great Indian Bustard (GIBs). Less than 200 GIBs are found in India with Gujarat accounting for 47 birds.
The department has already formed the Protected Area Level Committee (PALC) made up of forest officials and NGOs for the same and has also come up with an action plan. “Rising agriculture is a problem in the area. Moreover, the sanctuary area is too small. It is just 2.02 sq km, while the bustards roam around in a greater area. We are trying to increase the land under our control as part of our efforts to save the bustards,” said chief wildlife warden CN Pandey.
He said that it was just a matter of preventing the locals from cutting the grass for the period from July to October. “What we need to ensure is that the locals don’t cut the grass or graze their cattle around the sanctuary during the July to October period when the birds lay their eggs and raise their young ones,” said Pandey.
“We are looking at the landscape approach to conservation so as to ensure that birds were not affected by the activities of the locals while at the same time ensuring that the livelihood of the villagers is not harmed either," he concluded.