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.

Important points:

  • 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.


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