Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 23 December 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Great Indian Bustard and firefly bird diverter.
  2. Status of Leopards in India 2018 report.

1. Great Indian Bustard and firefly bird diverter

News Summary

Great Indian Bustards in the Thar region faced a serious threat from the overhead wires and high voltage power transmission lines and this was causing mortality in the population of GIB. Now, to resolve these issues, the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC) along with the Wildlife Conservation Society has come up with a unique initiative of  ‘firefly bird diverters’ which would be installed on power transmission lines. These firefly bird diverters would act as reflectors and help birds even before 50m  which would help birds especially GIB in avoiding collision with the power transmission lines.

Prelims GS – Environment

Great Indian Bustard:
  • Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps (GIB) is one of the rarest birds in the world.
  • With 200 individuals left, almost exclusively in India, the species is listed as Critically Endangered and Schedule I (Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972).
  • Their populations have steadily declined and are facing imminent extinction risk.
  • The largest population of about 150 birds occurs in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.
  • Other populations are less than 15 birds each, occurring in Kachchh (Gujarat), Solapur and Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh), and Bellary (Karnataka).
  • The species inhabits open habitats (short grasslands, open scrub, and rain-fed agriculture) and bred in traditionally selected grasslands.
  • National Guidelines for Recovery of Bustards 2013 advocated a multi-pronged approach involving:
    • a) stringent protection and research-informed management of breeding enclosures,
    • b) coexistence with compatible land uses and mitigation of unfriendly land uses in priority habitats of adjoining landscapes identified through research,
    • c) participation of local communities in conservation through incentives and outreach, and
    • d) establishment of the captive population as insurance against extinction and possible reintroduction.
  • GIB is also one of the species under the ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ (IDWH) Species Recovery Program.
  • Project Great Indian Bustard was launched by the Government of Rajasthan in 2013 to conserve the remaining population of Great Indian Bustard.

Click here to know more about the Great Indian Bustard.

2. Status of Leopards in India 2018 report

News Summary

Status of Leopards in 2018 report was released yesterday and Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar has said that increase in Tiger, Lion & Leopards numbers over the last few years is a testimony to the conservation efforts and of the fledgling wildlife & biodiversity of the country.

Prelims GS – Environment

Status of Leopards in India- Statistics:
  • India now has 12,852 leopards as compared to the previous estimate of 7910 conducted in 2014.
  • More than 60% increase in population has been recorded.
  • During all India tiger estimation 2018, leopard population was also estimated within the forested habitats in tiger occupied states.
  • The Western Ghats is home to 3387 leopards against the total population of 12852 leopards.
  • Madhya Pradesh recorded 3421 leopards which is the highest number of leopards.
  • Secondly, Karnataka recorded 1783 leopards.
  • Thirdly, Maharashtra recorded 1,690 leopards.

Click here to view the Status of leopard full report.



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