We develop policy recommendations for bustard conservation that are founded on scientific research and effective in the local cultural and economic context.
The Great Bustard is classified as globally Vulnerable by IUCN due to observed and projected population declines, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where Great Bustards have disappeared from large portions of their former range.
Our team works to expand knowledge about poorly understood populations of this species in Mongolia and Kazakhstan, where the species is included on Red Lists (endangered species lists). Local ornithologists estimate that Central Asian Great Bustards number 1600 in Mongolia and 300 in Kazakhstan – low numbers considering the size of these two countries, their low human population density, and the extent of potentially suitable habitat.
There is urgency for research on these Asian populations of Great Bustards, which differ substantially in aspects of their natural history from better-known European populations. Great Bustards are at risk during the rapid changes taking place in the countries of Central Asia, which are transitioning from communism to a free-market economy.
Our team is making important progress on the path to understanding the natural history and risks to these populations of Great Bustards. Learn more about our research activities, including population surveys, satellite tracking, and population genetic analyses.
We work closely with local non-governmental organizations and biologists, with whom we collaborate to develop conservation recommendations and take conservation actions. Our preliminary recommendations have already been incorporated into project and policy documents, and important territories for these birds have been listed with the government for protection. A sensitive and wary animal, the Great Bustard serves as an indicator species for healthy steppe ecosystems and a flagship species for steppe conservation projects, and our project provides baseline information about its populations in the region.
Current Research Directions
- The effects of powerlines on bustards: how best to mitigate, how best to monitor? Bird Conservation International
- Special issue of the journal Sandgrouse on the Great Bustard in Central Asia
- Download individual articles here
- Geographic distance, landscape heterogeneity and migratory connectivity influence population genetic structure of farmland-dependent wintering birds and their conservation
- Hunting of Little Bustards Tetrax tetrax in Azerbaijan: the global conservation perspective. Sandgrouse
- Habitat suitability assessment for the Great Bustard Otis tarda tarda in Tacheng Basin, western China. Global Ecology and Conservation
- Mitochondrial Divergence between Western and Eastern Great Bustards Implications for Conservation and Species Status. Journal of Heredity
- Пространственно – временная организация популяции дрофы (Otis tarda) на юге Казахстана на зимовке и весенних подвижках в 2018 г. Птицы и сельское хозяйство
- Snow cover and snowfall impact corticosterone and immunoglobulin a levels in a threatened steppe bird. General and Comparative Endocrinology
- Стрепет – естественный компонент агроценозов южного Казахстана. Биосферное хозяйство и устойчивое развитие сельских территорий
- Современные исследования по экологии и сохранению дрофы (Otis tarda) в Азии. Биологическое разнообразие Азиатских степей
- Averting the extinction of bustards in Asia. Forktail
- Современный статус дрофы в Центральной Азии и шаги к ее сохранению. Степной Бюллетень. Cover story!
- Дрофа на юге Казахстана. Птицы и сельское хозяйство
- Malfunction Rates of Bird Flight Diverters on Powerlines in the Mongolian Gobi. Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences
- Встречи некоторых птиц на северо-востоке Монголии в сентябре 2015 г. Selevinia
- Status of the Great Bustard in Central Asia: from the Caspian Sea to the Altai. Aquila
- Хонин тоодогийн (Otis tarda dybowskii) амьдрах орчны cонголтонд идэш тэжээлийн үзүүлэх нөлөө. Тоодог
- Satellite telemetry reveals long-distance migration in the Asian Great Bustard. Journal of Avian Biology
Recent Research News
- Multilingual Sandgrouse supplement now online
- First global review of bustard collisions with powerlines
- New Global Population Estimate for Great Bustards
- Special Journal Issue on Great Bustards in Central Asia [updated]
- Anthropogenic disturbance found to be main factor affecting habitat quality of Great Bustards in Western China