, 21 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
India hasnt seen a species extinction as an independent country. But that could change. Do you know of a bird called the Great Indian Bustard?
Allow me to acquaint you. THIS IS A GODDAMN THREAD. SO READ ON.
The Great Indian Bustard is endemic to India.

The amazing fact is that it was to become our national bird but it was denied the honour for the worry that its name might be misspelt! Bastard 😒😒

But this is not it. Infact the National bird title is the least of it. India has been pretty hostile to this majestic bird.
The bird has vanished from nearly 95% of its historical range.
Less than 150 remain today.
Take a look at this map. And let that sink in for a sec.
So how did we do this?
1. We constantly reduce and destroy their habitat - the grasslands.
2. We sprayed our fields with pesticides
3. We’ve trapped them in a network of power lines.
The death blow to the Great Indian Bustard comes from an unexpected source - renewable energy projects.

#Renewables, are a critical clean form of energy- but they arent necessarily green - which is something #India shouldconsider as it pushes ahead with its ambitious renewable energy generation target of 175GW by 2022, of which 160MW is expected to be met via solar and wind energy
The #Thar desert:
A Great Indian Bustard Stronghold. (Refer to the map from previous tweet but I know ya’ll are lazy so its attached here.)

The Thar desert:
Also the ideal place for generation of electricity from Wind Power.
Worldwide, wind turbines kill between 1,50,000 and 3,20,000 birds.
In the end of 2017, 1 GIB crashed against a power transmission line. Its burnt carcass found the next day, made it the 9th GIB in this decade to be killed by a wind power transmission line. 📷Vikas Verma
In Thar, recent survey showed that 5 birds of various species, including endangered ones, die per kilometre of power line per month. That’s 18,700 birds across the landscape. Bustards are vulnerable due to their narrow frontal vision- by the time they spot lines, it’s too late.
As previously tweeted. There are LESS THAN 150 Great Indian Bustards in the wild. Every GIB death caused by a brush with a power line brings the bird closer to enxtinction.
In such critically low populations, 1 unnatural death can result in an extinction over 3 generations!
Low wattage power lines can be undergrounded, and bird flight diverters on power lines have known to cut mortality by half in some European countries. But there has been little reaction to this in India, whether its the power co.s or the state govt. 😒😞
Solar and wind power plants and generators are VERY land intensive ... ergo HABITAT LOSS FOR the GIBs.

Here’s a @SteadmanArt piece from his Nextinction series featuring the Great Indian Bustard.
All this said.. power lines are just one among the many threats the GIBs face.
The Bustard’s habitat has been lost to roads, highways, mining, canals, as well as #greenwashing projects that transform arid grasslands to wooded areas, making them hostile to the Great Indian Bustard
The way forward?
1. Power lines need to buried underground
2. Renewable energy needs to be decentralised - harnessed via mini grids.

A true sign of care would be state refusal to go ahead with developmental projects that threaten Bustard habitat. We need THIS.
@SanctuaryAsia + @conserve_ind + @TCF_wildlife have launched an emergency campaign to SAVE THE GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD.
Amongst other threats - we are pushing for the Power Ministry of India to take notice and place these power transmission lines underground.
We need YOU.
Conservation can not be top to bottom. We need support like the upwelling of water. A ground swell. From Bottom UP. ASK THE MINISTRY OF POWER to place THE KILLER LINES UNDERGROUND. Read and sign this Petition. conservationindia.org/campaigns/gib2…
The facts& figures on this thread are courtesy years of study and research by collective, institutions-people like @SanctuaryAsia @prernabindra.

Sign this petition. Unless you take notice, @MinOfPower + @mnreindia in India doesnt take notice.

Help them see it.
Why didn’t i simply post a link to the petition to save this beautiful, majestic bird? Because you wouldn’t care to save anything that you didn’t know about or let alone see. Know better to love and PROTECT BETTER. As one of my heroes Jacques Cousteau said - We protect what we ♥️
160 GW *** correction****
Head over to @SanctuaryAsia to know about the URGENT COMMUNICATIONS the @moefcc Ministry of Environment Secretary sent to the Power Ministry @MinOfPower

You signed the petition. Now the govt’s taken notice.
⚠️Want to boost the campaign in defence of the Great Indian Bustard < 150 of which are left?

1. Save this poster
2. Tweet this with tags to @MinOfPower Power Minister @RajKSinghIndia asking him to make a PUBLIC commitment to help the CRITICALLY ENDANGERED Great Indian Bustard
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