Conserving East Asia’s last remaining populations
East Asia’s Iconic Bird
The Eastern Great Bustard (Otis tarda dybovsky) is an iconic bird species of the Daurian steppe and other grasslands of East Asia. With a wingspan of up to 2.5 metres and weighing 10-16 kilograms, this huge bird species is considered the heaviest flying bird in Asia, if not the world. In the Dauria area the species migrates widely both seasonally and during different phases of the region’s 30-year climate cycle, but birds display preferences to certain nesting and staging locations. In dry phases it prefers forest-steppe habitats, while in wet years it favors the vast expanses of the grassland steppes.
For centuries the meat of the Eastern Great Bustard was prized by Mongolian nomads, but the use of sustainable traditional hunting practices ensured that bird numbers remained stable.