Group Aims to Keep India's Bustards from Going Bust

The Bombay Natural History Society is urging India's government to come up with plans to help prevent the extinction of the endangered Great Indian Bustard and three other endangered bustard species. So far, their pleas have gone unheard.

The BNHS blames poaching and habitat loss for the birds' plight, and says that India's lack of a grasslands policy puts the bustard at further risk. The group also says the Indian government worries more about iconic creatures like tigers and elephants than less "glamorous" species.

According to BNHS, there are only 300-500 Great Indian Bustards, 2,500 Lesser Floricans Bustards and 400-500 Bengal Floricans Bustards left in the world. A fourth species, Houbara, is also endangered.

India already has a government-sponsored tiger-conservation effort called "Project Tiger." BNHS is calling for a similar "Project Bustards" to help preserve the species.

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