Godawan (GIB) Guardian Program

Once leading in the race to become the National Bird, now with just 150 odd birds as global population, GIB needs support at landscape level

We at The ERDS Foundation (registered NGO) are looking  for  support for  the Conservation of Great Indian Bustard (GIB) or Godawan.

We need your generous support for the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) for landscape level conservation through community participation in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan (India). This is important for taking communities on board in conservation as GIB needs vast area to survive and its already in the last of its battle to survive. Once leading in the race to become the National Bird, with a population of around 1280 in 1969 to just 150 in 2018, the Great Indian Bustard is at the brink of extinction. The current population is confined within 4 states having only two small breeding populations in Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan. It hence needs immediate attention from all the stakeholders including citizens. 

Ecology, Rural Development & Sustainability (ERDS) Foundation, had taken the initiative of developing a team of trained naturalists with the help of State Forest Department, with an outcome of 25 local trained youths in Desert National Park. The process was the first step towards developing a dialogue with local communities. These volunteers are working with our foundation, since 2015 onwards and constantly keeping a keen eye on the movement and poaching of this bird, one of the heaviest flying bird in the world. 

The breeding places are well protected by State Forest Department under the jurisdiction of Desert National Park-Sanctuary, but during non-breeding season, this bird moves in a greater area of more than 4000 sq. km. , popularly known as GIB Arc Landscape. In 2019, the ERDS Foundation started a unique project to gain community support in this vast landscape outside the protected area, and formed a pool of dedicated GIB Community Conservation Volunteers or Godawan Mitra

So far, we are running with the little philanthropic support from few community elders. Now onward, we are planning to go in for a more planned program and looking for adoption of these Godawan Mitra  that will help us make a conducive habitat for the GIB, generate a positive sentiment and help in the in-situ conservation of the GIB. 

This fund will be used to support Phase I of this work which is made of the following two small projects. 

Project A: Support to Godawan Mitra

This financial support of Rs. 5,000/- per month to a volunteer will give a good boost to the morale and support the fuel charges to one person for whole month and some financial help. In 1st Phase we are going to seek sponsorship for 5 Godawan Mitra, which is just Rs. 5,000/- per month (60,000/- per year per volunteer), and it will be Rs. 3,00,000/- (Rs. Three Lakh only) for whole year.

Project B: Creating Young Saviours of the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) – Environmental Education Material

Objective: To develop community centric environmental education material on the GIB and the GIB landscape in hindi – this includes the design and production of 1000 copies of a 48 page illustrated story book for children; Hamara Godavan Hamari Shaan and an interactive game; Thar Biodiversity Bingo that can engage a minimum of 30 children at a given time with an accompanying manual for the teacher/tutor. The work on both EE material; the children’s story book and the Bingo game is well advanced and we target to have the material published by July 31, 2020. We are in touch with the Rajasthan Forest Department, the District Education Officer and the respective communities in these two areas. Once we are able to get clarity on the school program for the current academic year including opening of schools we will seek resources for Phase II. The total budget for this including written and visual content generation, design and production is Rs. 300,000/-.


As Government of India and of Rajasthan is working for captive breeding (ex-situ) and habitat protection (in-situ) for conservation of Great Indian Bustard, with the ultimate aim of saving the species and re-augmentation of the population in the wild.  Our plan is to start a conservation education project through school children for involvement of local communities in the in-situ conservation of GIB thus making a conducive environment and development of ownership for the species at landscape level among all the local communities. It is believed that through such small scale programs, one can connect local communities and achieve the ultimate aim of conservation in long run.

We are already running these programs since last year and are unable to fund these ourselves due to our limited capacity. Now we want to request for your help to achieve this target. Please help us by donating and sharing the fundraiser with your friends and family.

ERDS Foundation


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583 lives have changed as a result of donors' support.

So far we are running with the little philanthropic support from few community elders. Now we want one non-recurring support.
Covid-19 and weak local support base
More strategic and planned work