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Bustards: Otididae

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Great Bustard (otis Tarda): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, BUSTARDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

GREAT BUSTARD (Otis tarda): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
BLUE BUSTARD (Eupodotis caerulescens): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Bustards are found across much of the Old World, including Africa, Europe, and Asia, as well as in Australia.


Bustards are found primarily in grassland habitats with low vegetation where they are able to look out over long distances. Some bustards occupy taller grasslands or even slightly wooded areas. Bustards are also frequently found in cultivated fields.


Bustards play an important role in agriculture in some parts of their range by eating large numbers of insect pests. On the other hand, they are hunted in some parts of the world for food or sport. (In Asia, hunting has caused population declines in several species.) Some hunters use trained falcons to hunt bustards.


Of the twenty-six species of bustards in existence, four are considered Threatened with extinction and six are considered Near Threatened, in danger of becoming threatened. Most other species are also declining. Bustards are threatened primarily due to hunting (particularly in India and Indochina), habitat destruction, and pesticide use.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds