Recently, Bihar has decided to tag greater adjutant storks locally known as ‘Garuda’ with GPS trackers to monitor their movement as part of efforts to conserve them.
- Leptoptilos dubius
- The greater adjutant is a member of the stork family, Ciconiidae.
- There are about 20 species in the family.
- They are long-necked large birds.
- Once found across South and Southeast Asia, the Greater Adjutant is one of the most threatened stork species in the world.
- There are only three known breeding grounds – one in Cambodia and two in India (Assam and Bihar).
- The widespread destruction and degradation of the wetlands that this scavenger bird needs to forage (i.e. search for food) and the loss of its nesting trees, led to a decline.
- Protection Status:
- IUCN Red List: Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972: Schedule IV
- They are considered the mount of Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s prime deities.
- Some worship the bird and call it “Garuda Maharaj” (Lord Garuda) or “Guru Garuda” (Great Teacher Garuda).
- They help farmers by killing rats and other farm pests.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT