Environment Ministry’s ‘Firefly Bird Diverters’ to save the GIB
Firefly Bird Diverters is an initiative started by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) India with an aim to protect Great Indian Bustard (GIB) from overhead power lines. Under the initiative, Firefly Bird Diverters will be installed in areas with Great Indian Bustard populations to protect them.
- Firefly bird diverters are flaps that are installed on power lines and work as reflectors for birds.
- The device is called a firefly because it looks like fireflies from a distance.
- Birds can spot these Firefly bird diverters from a distance of around 50 m and change their path to avoid collision with power lines.
- The firefly detectors have now been installed in the Pokhran tehsil along two stretches of around 6.5 km between Dholiya to Chacha villages.
- As per the latest reports, a total of 1,813 firefly bird diverters are being installed in the selected stretch.
- This model of firefly diverters has been endorsed by the experts from the Bustard Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC).
In the year 2019, the ministry submitted a report to the National Green Tribunal highlighted that power lines, particularly the high-voltage transmission lines with many overhead wires, are a threat to the great Indian bustard in the Thar region. These power lines are causing high mortality in around 15% of the GIB population.
The Supreme Court of India also directed that the power lines in areas with GIB population should be placed underground.
Great Indian Bustard
GIBs are large birds that look like Ostrich and are the heaviest flying bird. The bustard is critically endangered.