Great bustards – flying on the edge of extinction

In our next Wildlife in the Red online talk we look at the great bustard. This is not only the largest land bird, but also the heaviest flying bird alive today.

Tragically, this incredible creature became extinct in Britain in the 19th century, largely due to collectors and trophy hunters.

But there is hope! Wiltshire is the only place in the world where great bustards have been successfully reintroduced.

In this talk, you’ll hear more from the man who’s responsible for bringing this bird back from the brink. David Waters founded the Great Bustard Group in 1998, and along with a team of volunteers, has created a thriving population of around 100 birds in south Wiltshire.

‘Great bustards – Flying on the Edge of Extinction’ takes place on Thurs 4 March, 7.30-8.30pm. The talk is free, but booking is essential.

More about our speaker

After serving in the army and the Wiltshire Police, David Waters formed the Great Bustard Group (GBG) in 1998 with the view to it being just a hobby. It soon became clear that no other organisation was likely to support the restoration of the great bustard, so his efforts became full-time! 

 

Wild Life in the Red

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There’s also a species called a sawshark, but that’s, well, a shark!

What the heck is a lek?

Males great bustards perform spectacular courtship displays, gathering at a ‘lek’ or small display ground to try to impress the females.

Road Runner!

The great bustard has a dignified slow walk but tends to run when disturbed, rather than fly.

Belly Buster!

The hen-bird on display at The Salisbury Museum was one of the last great bustards to be eaten in the town!

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