Fewer Than 50 Great Bustards in Iran

Fewer Than 50 Great Bustards in IranFewer Than 50 Great Bustards in Iran

The population of Great Bustard in Iran has reached a critical level with fewer than 50 birds remaining across the country.

Experts have warned that the remaining population is most likely to go extinct, if conservation measures are not taken in time.  

The species is now absent from much of its habitat in Iran and Bukan County in West Azarbaijan Province is the only region where conditions remain suitable for the bird, the Department of Environment's news portal reported.

According to Alireza Hashemi, the executive manager of Tarlan Ornithological Society, poaching and habitat destruction are the two main causes of the bird's endangerment.

"During the breeding season, the bird builds its nest in farmlands, unaware of the potential human threats. Consequently, many chicks are killed by harvesting machines every year," he said.

The DOE has recently prepared an action plan for the bird's conservation. Some initiatives to raise awareness about the critical status of the species among farmers have also been undertaken.

However, Hashemi stressed that the species will not be saved unless the action plan and other related regulations are strictly enforced.

Great Bustard numbers are not just declining in Iran, as the bird is globally categorized as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Due to the loss, degradation and fragmentation of its habitat as well as illegal hunting, this species has suffered a rapid population decline across most of its worldwide range.

Successful conservation measures have been taken in many countries where Great Bustards live, though Iran seems to be lagging behind.


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