Species in news: Houbara Bustards
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Biodiversity
- Recently, houbara bustards was in the news.
- Pakistan has issued special permits to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and two other members of the royal family to hunt the internationally protected houbara bustards during the hunting season 2020-21.
Important value addition
The houbara bustard
- It lives in arid climates.
- It comes in two distinct species as recognised by the IUCN.
- One species resides in North Africa (Chlamydotis undulata) and the other in Asia (Chlamydotis macqueenii) which is commonly known as MacQueen’s bustard.
- The population of the Asian houbara bustards extends from northeast Asia, across central Asia, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula to reach the Sinai desert.
- According to the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC), roughly 33,000 Asian houbara bustards remain today.
- After breeding in the spring, the Asian bustards migrate south to spend the winter in Pakistan, the Arabian Peninsula and nearby Southwest Asia.
- Some Asian houbara bustards live and breed in the southern part of their ranges including parts of Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
- IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable