Houbara Foundation International Pakistan, WWF-Pakistan and Punjab Wildlife & Parks Department have jointly concluded a week-long survey for the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) in the Cholistan Desert for the year 2013. The survey team successfully sighted the species, the world’s heaviest flying bird, in different places in its habitat in the desert.
In 2011 the International Union for Conservation of Nature had estimated that there were only 200 surviving birds of this species in the world. The decline is due to hunting and habitat fragmentation.
It was a great achievement to record the presence of this critically endangered species. Pakistan Rangers facilitated the entire survey through their troops deployed in the area.
The importance of the conservation of this vanishing species from the point of view of a balanced ecosystem cannot be over-stressed. Similarly, the habitat which stood lush green with tall grasses at this time of the year needs to be declared as a sanctuary for wildlife and to be protected against destruction.