Morteza Naderi


The great bustard (Otis tarda) is a globally threatened species that faces extinction risk in Iran. With regard to its population abundance (lower than 30-45 individuals) and its limited geographical distribution, it can be placed in the Critically Endangered category on a national scale. Great Bustard’s habitat is strongly destructed by agricultural activities and land-use change. Based on documented declining population trend, urgent integrated activities are obligatory to save it from the extinction vortex. Our results showed that the Great bustard faces different levels of threats that put it at extinction risk.  Some of the main threats are

1) low abundance which probably resulted in severe genetic abnormalities (critical)

2) Agricultural activities especially in the breeding season (medium)

3) Incorrect waste management which attracts wild and domestic predators (high)

4) Collecting and even touching the eggs (critical)

5) Natural predators (medium)

High priority conservation actions

1) Stopping agricultural crops’ harvest for three consecutive years, where the species breeds.

2) Phylogenetic and genetic studies as well as determining MVP

3) Scientific waste management and controlling domestic predator’s population growth such as dogs

4) Local people’s education, awareness, and empowerment

5) Producing visual documentaries about concerning the status of the species

6) Intensive population monitoring during breeding season with severe controlling activities

7) Species ringing and tracking by satellite equipment

8) Population (or probably Dems) abundance estimation with new methods

Keywords: Great Bustard, Conservation, Habitat management, Genetic studies, Threats, Iran

Community-based conservation activities