Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Otidiformes > Otididae > Ardeotis > Ardeotis nigriceps

Ardeotis nigriceps (Great Indian Bustard)

Wikipedia Abstract

The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) or Indian bustard is a bustard found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan. A large bird with a horizontal body and long bare legs, giving it an ostrich like appearance, this bird is among the heaviest of the flying birds. Once common on the dry plains of the Indian subcontinent, as few as 250 individuals were estimated in 2011 to survive and the species is critically endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat, which consists of large expanses of dry grassland and scrub. These birds are often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck. It is protected under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 of India.
View Wikipedia Record: Ardeotis nigriceps

Endangered Species

Status: Critically Endangered
View IUCN Record: Ardeotis nigriceps

EDGE Analysis

As its name suggests, the Great Indian Bustard is found in India and neighbouring parts of Pakistan. It is the largest bird within this range, with males standing at well over a metre in height. The species was formerly found across the Indian Subcontinent, but is now locally extinct from 90 per cent of its original range. Historically, hunting has been the main factor in the initial decline in numbers and this was exacerbated by habitat destruction. Hunting is still a major issue in some parts of its range. Today the small population is threatened primarily by habitat degradation and loss.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 8.98841
EDGE Score: 5.07401
View EDGE Record: Ardeotis nigriceps


Adult Weight [1]  6.17 lbs (2.80 kg)
Birth Weight [1]  145 grams
Diet [2]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore
Diet - Ectothermic [2]  10 %
Diet - Endothermic [2]  10 %
Diet - Fruit [2]  20 %
Diet - Invertibrates [2]  20 %
Diet - Plants [2]  20 %
Diet - Seeds [2]  20 %
Forages - Understory [2]  10 %
Forages - Ground [2]  90 %
Clutch Size [4]  1
Incubation [3]  27 days
Top 100 Endangered [5]  Yes


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Deccan thorn scrub forests India, Sri Lanka Indo-Malayan Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests India Indo-Malayan Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Narmada Valley dry deciduous forests India Indo-Malayan Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Northern dry deciduous forests India Indo-Malayan Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Northwestern thorn scrub forests India, Pakistan Indo-Malayan Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests India Indo-Malayan Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests
Thar desert India, Pakistan Indo-Malayan Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests India Indo-Malayan Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forests

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Desert National Park II 672840 Rajasthan, India  

Important Bird Areas

BirdLife Species Factsheet: View Factsheet
Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Banni Grassland and Chhari Dhand India A1, A4i, A4iii
Bijnote Bustard Game Reserve Pakistan A1, A3
Desert National Park India A1, A3
Diyatra Closed Area India A1
Ghatigaon Bustard Sanctuary India A1
Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary India A1
Khichan India A1, A4i
Naliya Grassland (Lala Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary) India A1
Nameri National Park India A1, A2
Ozar and adjoining grassland India A1
Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary India A1
Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary India A1, A4ii
Sonkhaliya Closed Area India A1

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Western Ghats and Sri Lanka India, Sri Lanka No

Emblem of


Prey / Diet

Saara hardwickii (Hardwick's spiny-tailed lizard)[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Sri Chamarajendra Zoo (Mysore Zoo)




Attributes / relations provided by
1Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
2Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
3del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
4Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
5Baillie, J.E.M. & Butcher, E. R. (2012) Priceless or Worthless? The world’s most threatened species. Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom.
6Munjpara, S.B., C.N. Pandey & B. Jethva (2012). Habitat use by the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps (Gruiformes: Otididae) in breeding and non-breeding seasons in Kachchh, Gujarat, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(2): 3654–3660
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access