With an aim to the protect the state bird, the Great Indian Bustard, locally known as ‘Godawan’, the Rajasthan government has now decided not to set up any windmills for wind power projects in the areas where these birds are found, an official said on Monday.
A majority of wind power projects in Rajasthan have come up in and around desert town of Jaisalmer which is also one of the main areas for these birds.
“We have decided not to allow setting up of windmills in habitat areas or safe zones of these birds,” a state government official told IANS.
According to wildlife experts, the Godawan is a shy bird by nature and some of these windmills were set up in their zones that forced these birds to move out of these safe zones, which resulted in them either being killed by wild animals or being poached.
In June 2013, Project Great Indian Bustard was launched by the then Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to save the bird from extinction. However it has so far failed in its objectives.
According to wildife experts by the end of 2015, only 20-28 birds were alive in the state.
According to the Rajasthan forest department, the rapid decline in their population has already alarmed wildlife experts, ornithologists and bird lovers across the world. The main reasons cited for its decline are habitat loss due to conversion of grasslands to other purposes, disturbances caused by human activity during its breeding season and frequent poaching of the species.