The Last Stand... by Nishand Venugopal at

The Last Stand

The Last Stand…

written by: Nishand Venugopal



The Great Indian Bustards, critically endangered birds of India are fighting for a chance to survive and avoid becoming part of history. Will the fate of “Dodo” be waiting for these birds? Sincerely praying it is not, because all hands are on deck to save them. From Government to NGOs are on it. Researches and attempts for captive breeding are on. As there are very few of them in numbers, authorities are very careful to deal with these birds. If they are disturbed that might lead to mishaps, so step by step they are approaching it. Fences are erected to keep away people from disturbing them. Also, I guess these birds have evolved to flee from a scene of interference from humans. I saw a group of 5, after searching for them for 2 days in Desert National Park, which covers an area of more than 3000 square km. One female and 4 males, as our guide said. Female was standing away from the male group, then slowly approached towards the males. They all took a stride for a few minutes and suddenly flew away. I guess even as we were observing them from quite a long distance separated by a fence, they somehow became aware we were there and left the place. When we went to see where they have alighted, there I saw a peculiar behaviour of these birds, they all dispersed in various directions to avoid us. Later, we saw from other visitors’ account, that they regrouped after some time. I felt that centuries of memories of being poached or being caught have ingrained in their genes and psyche that they don’t trust the homo sapiens. For now, that is their defense mechanism to keep themselves safe from danger. Definitely, nature is also training them to protect themselves, one we never heard in the case of the “Dodo”. This is their last stand. I wish only that if we can give them space to survive like reviving their habitats and stop fragmenting their flight path with high tension wires, roads, windmills etc. the hope is still there…

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