Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Bird population continues to decline in India, 8 species added to IUCN Red List




Year after year, the condition of birds, which are one of the most obvious indicators of the state of the natural environment, is deteriorating further, due to factors like habitat destruction and unsustainable development over the last couple of decades.


The latest Red List of birds released by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for 2015 shows that a total of 180 bird species in India are now threatened, as against 173 last year. Only one species has moved out of the Red List.


The latest additions to the list, which are based on studies conducted by BNHS-India, BirdLife International (UK-based) and other partner organizations, reveal that bird habitats like grasslands and wetlands are under threat.



Species added to Red List


Among the eight species newly added to the Red List, five have been uplisted (a sign of increased threat) from Least Concerned to Near Threatened category. These include Northern Lapwing (a grassland bird) and four wetland birds, viz. Red Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Bar-Tailed Godwit. Two other wetland birds, viz. Horned Grebe and Common Pochard have been uplisted from Least Concerned to Vulnerable. Steppe Eagle (a raptor from grasslands), which is a regular winter visitor to the Indian subcontinent, has been uplisted from Least Concerned to Endangered. In this bunch of negative news, there is a little positive news that the passage migrant - European Roller - has been downlisted (a sign of decreased threat) from Near Threatened to Least Concerned. In 2014, the story was similar with eight new species added to the Red List, viz. Woolly-necked Stork, Andaman Teal, Andaman Green Pigeon, Ashy-headed Green Pigeon, Red-headed Falcon, Himalayan Griffon, Bearded Vulture and Yunnan Nuthatch.




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