In news- For the first time, Bihar has decided to tag Greater Adjutant Storks (Leptoptilos dubius), locally known as ‘Garuda’, with GPS trackers to monitor their movement as a part of efforts to conserve them. A rescue and rehabilitation centre has been set up at Sundarban in Bhagalpur, Bihar.
About the Greater Adjutant Storks-
- The greater adjutant is one of the most threatened stork species of the world and is widely considered to be a rare bird.
- The English name is derived from their stiff “military” gait when walking on the ground.
- It has a massive wedge-shaped bill, a bare head and a distinctive neck pouch.
- Once found widely across southern Asia, now it is restricted to a much smaller range with only three breeding populations; two in India, with the largest colony in Assam, a smaller one around Bhagalpur, and another breeding population in Cambodia.
- It is usually seen singly or in small groups as it stalks about in shallow lakes or drying lake beds and garbage dumps.
- The beginning of the breeding season is marked by several birds congregating and trying to occupy a tree.
- They feed mainly on carrion and will sometimes prey on vertebrates.
- It is classified as ‘Endangered ‘on the IUCN’s Red List and listed under Schedule IV of the Indian WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Its population in 2008 was 800-1000 and 800-1200 in 2013.