Threatened bird species in India rise to 154

The number of endangered bird species in India has risen to 154 from 149 two years ago.

Mumbai: The number of endangered bird
species in the country has risen to 154 from 149 two years
ago, a recent study has said.

A joint study by BirdLife International and Bombay
Natural History Society (BNHS) attributes the rapid decline in
the bird population to habitat destruction.

"Destruction of habitat is the prime reason behind the
fall in their numbers. According to studies, the condition of
Great Slaty Woodpecker has deteriorated from `Least Concern`
to `Vulnerable` while that of Rufous-backed Bunting has fallen
from `Vulnerable` to `Endangered`," BNHS director Asad
Rahmani said here today.

"It is extremely alarming that almost 13 per cent of
world`s bird population is either `critically endangered`,
`endangered` or `vulnerable`. Great Slaty Woodpecker is an
addition from India into the `vulnerable` category, primarily
due to habitat loss," Rahmani said.

"The fact that now 154 bird species from India are
threatened, as against 149 in 2008, is an indicator of further
deterioration of their living environment," he said.

In light of the alarming situation, the BNHS strongly
urges the Government to start special programmes for
protection of birds and their habitats, Rehmani said.

BNHS has identified 466 Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
across India, which are crucial for bird habitats.

"At present 200 among them are not officially protected.
All such areas should be protected and local communities
involved in conservation measures," he said.

Rahmani, who is also a member of the Global Council of
BirdLife and Chairman of BirdLife Asia Council, said that
supposedly common species in India like Nilgiri Blue Robin and
White-bellied Blue Robin have been included in the endangered

He added that Himalayan Quail and Pink-headed Duck are
considered extinct in India since they have not been seen for
nearly 100 years.

"However, there is still hope to rediscover these birds,
they have been included in the critically endangered


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