Government urged to evolve an action plan to protect the bird, which is on the verge of extinction.

“We are losing our Great Indian Bustard,” WWF-India Secretary-General and CEO, Ravi Singh told The Hindu here on Friday. The total number of birds now was as low as 200, he said, calling for quick efforts to protect the species.

“Otherwise, we will lose this bird in the wild,” he added.

Mr. Singh wanted the Government of India to evolve an action plan to protect the bird, which is on the verge of extinction.

He said the breeding of these birds was under threat. According to anecdotal estimates, the largest population (110) of this bird was in Rajasthan, while it was also found in Gujarat and Karnataka. Around 10 birds were sighted five to six years ago at Rollapadu in Andhra Pradesh.

Listing destruction of forests, break-up of corridors, illegal trade, poaching and change in land use as reasons affecting conservation of wild life, Mr. Singh said a large amount of illegal trade in lesser species like pangolins and turtles was taking place. Steps taken by the government to prevent poaching have made a difference with regard to lions and elephants, he added.