The Supreme Court (SC) by taking serious note of alarming extinction of two Indian birds namely Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican has constituted a high powered committee to urgently frame and implement an emergency response plan for the protection of these species. It also sought responses from the Centre and state governments, where these two species of birds are prominently found.
- The 3 member panel comprises Deepak Apte, Director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Dr. Asad R Rahmani, former Director of BNHS and member of governing body of Wetlands International South Asia and Dr. Dhananjai Mohan, Chief Conservator of Forests of Uttarakhand.
- The panel was formed by especially powerlines the apex court on plea contended that over the last 50 years population of Great Indian Bustard has recorded decline of over 82%( falling from an estimated 1260 in 1969 to 100-150 in 2018) by wildlife activists.
- Over the past few decades, the population of Lesser Florican (also known as likh or kharmore) has seen a sharp decline of 80%. These two critically endangered bird species are facing threats of mortality by collision with infrastructure especially powerlines and wind turbines, depletion of grasslands, hunting, etc.
- Under the plan, wildlife activists have suggested steps that should be taken includes, urgent dismantling and undergrounding of powerlines and wind turbines, immediate embargo on any upcoming wind, solar power projects, and powerlines in and around critical habitats, installation of predator-proof fencing in critical habitats to protect breeding grounds of both the species from invasive human activities as well as predators and implementation of dog population control program.