Save the State Bird of Rajasthan, the Great Indian Bustard, गोडावण बचाओ

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Namaste & Ghani Khamma! Do you know GIB? No, it's not that coined scientific term, it's a short form of Great Indian Bustard. Hope now you are aware of that, if not, than let me tell you that it's the state bird of Rajasthan. In India's ecosystem what Tiger or Lion is to the jungle, GIB is to the grasslands. Yes it's the king of the grasslands and was respected in that way only since Vedic times in Sanskrit texts. But unfortunately, just like Tigers and Lions this majestic bird too, became favourite hunting game during last two centuries. Still there was large population of this bird when India got independence in 1947, at that time it's presence was across all the grasslands in the 11 states. Famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali wanted this bird to be the national bird of India, but it's English name was a problem, so Peacock was selected instead of it. Until late 1970s Indian government used to give hunting licences to rich people from Gulf countries to hunt these birds as annual sport. But it's numbers dropped significantly with this hunting practice at that time government started GIB conservation programme by declaring wildlife centuries across all 11 states. But this was not able to get momentum like Tiger conservation. As per the last census conducted by Wildlife Institute of India, we are left with less than 150 individuals birds, the Desert National Park and  surrounding grasslands, in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan are the last major stronghold of the species. This is their last breeding habitat also which is already facing problem with overgrazing of livestocks, as IGNP canal was dug out in the middle of the old grazing pasturelands, which are now agricultural fields and the rest of the area is allocated for Wind & Solar energy projects. Several birds have collided, electrocuted and died due to power lines crisscrossing this last habitat, in last few years. Forest department is doing its best by creating large enclosures and running a captive breeding programme with support of various agencies. But these efforts are of no use with increasing loss of habitat due to allotement of grasslands for various projects and unawareness of rural people. In western Rajasthan rural communities are totally dependant on animal husbandry, where healthy grasslands play an important part in the local as well as countries economy and the health of these grasslands is dependant on the numbers of GIB or Godawan, as it keeps the grassland free from Locusts and other insects by feeding on them. I request all of you to please come forward to sign this petition addressed to Honourable Prime Minister of India, alongwith Environment Minister and Chief Minister of Rajasthan, from citizens of Rajasthan, India and all of us spread across the globe. Save Pride of Rajasthan, Save State Bird of Rajasthan, Save Great Indian Bustard! जय गोडावण!