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Pokhran’s ‘firefly bird diverters’ shine to save the Great Indian Bustard

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    24th Dec, 2020

Context

  • The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) India has come up with a unique initiative- a “firefly bird diverter”.

What is this new initiative?

  • A “firefly bird diverter” is used for overhead power lines in areas where Great Indian Bustard (GIB) populations are found in the wild. 
  • It is a model that has been endorsed by experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s (SSC) Bustard Specialist Group.
  • The high-voltage transmission lines with multiple overhead wires, are the most important current threat for GIBs in the Thar region.

How does the diverter work?

  • Firefly bird diverters are flaps installed on power lines.
  • The diverters are called fireflies because they look like fireflies from a distance, shining on power lines in the night.
  • They work as reflectors for bird species like the GIB.
  • Birds can spot them from a distance of about 50 meters and change their path of flight to avoid collision with power lines.

Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

  • GIB is one of the most critically threatened species in India, with less than 150 birds left in the wild.
  • Two districts in Rajasthan — Jaisalmer and Barmer — have a breeding GIB population in the wild.
  • The bird can also be found in very small numbers in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.