According to the official website of Birds Of India, 182 species of Indian birds are classified as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable and near threatened in the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Trade in these species is banned worldwide due to the threat of global extinction they face. In particular, bird conservation in India is affected by the fact that many of these species are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.
List of 11 birds in critical danger of extinction
1. Indian bustard
The Indian bustard is a most endangered species of bird found only in India and adjacent regions. The bustard is one of the largest flying bird species, weighing up to 15 kg and standing about 1 m from the ground. The largest land bird habitat in the scrub, tall grass, semi-arid grassland and semi-desert regions of Rajasthan. Due to intense hunting and habitat loss, the bird is disappearing from many regions of India. It is the state bird of Rajasthan. There is a wildlife sanctuary called Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in Solapur, Maharashtra.
2. Red-headed vulture
The red-headed vulture, also known as the Indian black vulture or king vulture, is one of the species of Old World vultures found on the Indian subcontinent. Due to the use of diclofenac in veterinary medicine, the population of this species has decreased drastically in recent years. Indian vulture, slender-billed vulture and white-rumped vulture are the few other species of vultures found in India and fall under the category of critically endangered bird species.
3. Forest Owl
Forest Owlet is an endangered species of the typical owl family and endemic to the forests of central India. The little forest owl was considered extinct but was later rediscovered and a small population makes this species critically endangered in India. Melghat Tiger Reserve, Taloda Forest Range and the forest zone of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are the best places to find this small jungle owl. Forest Owlet is the state bird of Maharashtra.
Image source: www.kolkatabirds.com
4. Spoon-billed Sandpiper
The spoon-billed sandpiper is the most endangered bird species in the world and is also listed as critically endangered in India. An extremely small population, loss of habitat and breeding grounds push spoon-billed sandpiper chicks to the brink of extinction. The main areas of India are the Sundervan delta and neighboring countries.
5. Jerdon’s Steed
The nocturnal bird, Jerdon’s steed, is the most endangered and enigmatic bird of India, especially endemic to southern Andhra Pradesh. Jerdon’s steed is listed as a critically endangered bird. It was nearly declared extinct but reappeared, but remains critically endangered due to habitat loss. This bird is generally found in the Godavari River Valley, Sri Lankamalleshwara Sanctuary and in the Eastern Ghats forest range.
6. Bengal Florican
The Bengal florican is a rare species of the bustard family and native only to the Indian subcontinent. The Bengal florican is one of the most endangered species and is almost extinct elsewhere in the world; Only fewer than 1,000 young Bengal floricans remain on the Indian subcontinent. It is the rarest bustard in the world, but poaching and land conversion for agriculture took over its habitat and labeled it an endangered species.
7. White-bellied Heron
The great white-bellied heron, also known as purple heron, is a large heron found in the foothills of the Great Himalayas to the eastern Himalayan ranges. The tall, dark, gray heron is a large species with a longer neck and no black stripes on the neck. The disappearance of wetlands, poaching and habitat destruction are the heron’s main concerns.
8. Himalayan Quail
The amazing and beautiful Himalayan quail belongs to the pheasant family and is found only in the western Himalayas of Uttarakhand and the northwestern region of India. The Himalayan quail is one of the critically endangered Indian bird species. Habitat destruction brought it to the brink of extinction. Quail’s building is medium in size and flies only to the nearby area.
9. Social lapwing
The sociable Lapwing is a migratory bird of the open grasslands of Kazakhstan and is found only in the northwestern region of India. The medium-sized lapwing is very attractive with elongated black legs, a dark belly and a short black bill. Habitat destruction is the main reason this species is listed as an endangered bird.
10. Siberian crane
The stunning Siberian white cranes are migratory birds and visit India during the winter season. Beautiful Siberian cranes are among one of the most endangered bird species in the world. In recent years, the population of Siberian migratory cranes has decreased slightly and is in danger of extinction.
Image source: siberiantimes.com
11. Yellow-breasted Bunting
The yellow-breasted bunting belongs to the Emberizidae family of birds. Illegal capture and hunting in wintering areas caused the disappearance of the species. In some regions of China and Southeast Asia it is sold for human consumption, where it is enjoyed as a delicacy. In grassy meadows near marshes or rivers, there are a few scattered trees and bushes where the Yellow-breasted Bunting breeds. It frequents gardens, agricultural regions, rice fields, reed beds and bushes throughout the winter. Depending on the season, it consumes crustaceans, seeds and other plant components. The nest is usually built somewhat above the ground in thick foliage and is in the ground in a depression protected by bushes or roots.
India is home to numerous endangered bird species, including the Indian vulture, Indian bustard, Siberian crane, Jerdon’s steed and forest owlet. Habitat loss, poaching and pollution threaten their survival. Conservation efforts, such as protected areas and awareness campaigns, are crucial to preserving these beautiful and ecologically important birds.