Up to 18,000 birds a month fall victim to the power lines and wind turbines in the Thar desert in Rajasthan. Some of these species are threatened, but none more so than the great Indian bustard.
Despite having an intimidating stature — the bird can stand up to 3.3 feet tall and weigh up to 32 lbs — the extremely rare species is in a very delicate situation. With an estimated wild population of 150 (the actual population could be as low as 110), conservationists have begun to worry that the expanding network of power lines and wind turbines will spell the end of this imposing bird in the wild.
Currently, the majority of the birds live within the "hot zone" — the area in Rajasthan that is crisscrossed with kilometers and kilometers of cable. A recent study has shown that at least 5 birds are killed per month per cable leading to the jaw-dropping figure of nearly 220,000 birds dying a year. At least three of those that died were bustards in 2017. With such low numbers any dent in the population could spell catastrophe and push a bird, that's already close to extinction, to the point of no return.
That's why it is so important for the government to take mitigation measures to help stop the bird from disappearing. One simple solution would be to put the power lines under the ground instead of in the air. Please call on the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd and the Forest Department to take action as soon as possible. We must save the remaining great Indian bustards of the Thar desert. Sign the petition today. And ask that power lines in bustard territory be put underground.