The Gujarat forest department wants about 3,000 hectares of revenue land near the Bustard Sanctuary in Kutch district to be converted into forest land to save the endangered Great Indian Bustard.
“We have written to the revenue department to convert the revenue land adjoining the Bustard Sanctuary (in Naliya taluka of Kutch) to forest land which could be used for conservation of the Great Indian Bustard. We are yet to get any reply from revenue department with regard to the letter,” Chief Conservator of Forests, Kutch D. K. Sharma told PTI.
District Forest officer (DFO), in charge of the Bustard Sanctuary, D. T. Vasavda said that they have asked for the 3,000 hectare grassland, as it is a prime breeding ground for the GIB, an endangered species listed in Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act.
“The land which we have asked for is in Naliya and was previously with the Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), which had done plantation in some part, but most of it is still grassland,” Mr. Vasavada said.
He said declaring the grassland as protected area would help in conservation of the GIB which is a shy creature and hard to spot. Also, the conservation was essential as GIB lays only one egg at a time during the breeding season in June-July.
Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had also written to the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to convert the revenue land to forest land for conservation of the GIB and thereby prevent its extinction from Gujarat.