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15 bird species in India in list of critically endangered

By Salome Phelamei | Last Updated: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 23:03

Zee Media Bureau

Hyderabad: The number of bird species listed as Critically Endangered (CE) has reached an all-time high as per the latest International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Birds for 2013.

The latest species to join the growing list of birds facing the harshest danger is white-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi - a secretive and unobtrusive sub-Saharan bird.

Critically Endangered is the highest risk category of the IUCN Red List of threatened species, comprising those that are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

The report says that fifteen bird species in India remain to be Critically Endangered (CE).

The species falling under the Critically Endangered category in India include:

Migratory wetland species:

1. Baer’s Pochard

2. Siberian Crane

3. Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Non-migratory wetland species:

4. White-bellied Heron

Grassland species:

5. Bengal Florican

6. Great Indian Bustard

7. Jerdon’s Courser

8. Sociable Lapwing

Forest species:

9. Forest Owlet and scavengers:

10. Indian Vulture

11. Red-headed Vulture

12. White-backed Vulture

13. Slender-billed Vulture

14. Himalayan Quail and

15. Pink-headed Duck are now considered Extinct for all practical purposes.

“There is an urgent need to conserve the remaining habitats and species dependent on them, based on insightful scientific field research. Policies that ensure this through sustainable development should be framed and implemented urgently”, said BNHS-India Director, Dr Asad Rahmani.

The IUCN report also finds that three other bird species now face greater danger than before and hence they have been uplisted in the latest list - River Lapwing and River Tern, both uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened and long-tailed Duck uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable.

“Almost 200 species of bird are now in real danger of being lost forever”, said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife’s Director of Science, Policy and Information. “They are being hit on multiple fronts. Habitat loss, agricultural changes, invasive species and climate change are the principle threats. Without these problems being addressed the list will continue to grow.”

While habitat destruction and the larger effects of climate change are among the most prominent factors responsible for the cause of decline, there is also some good news as these species- Black-browed and Black-footed Albatross and Rodrigues Fody and Rodrigues Warbler have been down listed to lower Red List categories as a result of conservation efforts.

First Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 23:03

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