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Can Hunting Save the Great Indian Bustard?

  • Published
    31st Jan, 2024

Context : The Supreme Court's recent intervention to protect the endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB) and unconventional conservation methods, specifically regulated hunting, to address the challenges posed by renewable energy projects.

  1. Supreme Court's Conservation Measures:

   - Predator-Proof Fencing and Controlled Grazing: The Supreme Court's intervention recommends practical steps like predator-proof fencing and controlled grazing to safeguard the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) and minimize risks associated with renewable energy projects.

   - Bird Diverters on Power Lines: The Court mandates the installation of bird diverters on power lines within GIB habitats, showcasing an ecocentric approach to conservation and a nuanced understanding of the environmental impact.

   - Balancing Renewable Energy with Wildlife: Recognizing the delicate balance required, the Court emphasizes the urgent need to harmonize renewable energy goals with wildlife preservation.

  1. Threats to the Great Indian Bustard:

   - Impact of Overhead Power Lines: The proliferation of overhead power lines, integral to India's renewable energy ambitions, poses a severe threat to the GIB due to collisions, prompting the Court to enforce measures to minimize these risks.

   - Climate Change Mitigation vs. Biodiversity Protection: The conflict between India's commitments under the Paris Agreement's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and its obligations under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) underscores the need for a careful balance.

   - Renewable Energy Infrastructure Challenges: The expansion of renewable energy infrastructure, while crucial for reducing carbon emissions, necessitates innovative strategies to prevent biodiversity loss.

  1. The Role of Regulated Hunting in Conservation:

   - Regulated Hunting as a Conservation Tool: Proposing regulated hunting as an unconventional yet transformative solution, its successful application in various parts of the world to generate revenue for conservation efforts.

   - Positive Examples in India: Examining cases in India, such as the management of deer populations in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, illustrates how regulated hunting, under strict supervision, has positively impacted ecological balance and wildlife conservation.

   - Ethical Considerations and Legal Frameworks: Emphasizing that regulated hunting in India adheres to rigorous legal frameworks and ethical considerations, ensuring alignment with broader wildlife conservation goals and principles.

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