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15 birds of India in the IUCN Critically Endangered Red List of Birds

Feb 7, 2014 15:15 IST

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of the birds indicates 15 species of birds from India as critically endangered. The information about the critical endangered birds is available on the IUCN Red list version 2013.

Bird species reported to be assigned under the Critically Endangered list of IUCN Red list are


Common Name

Scientific Name


Baer's Pochard



Forest Owlet



Great Indian Bustard



Bengal Florican



Siberian Crane



Spoon-billed Sandpiper



Sociable Lapwing



Jerdon's Courser



White backed Vulture

Gyps bengalensis


Red-headed Vulture



White-bellied Heron



Slender-billed Vulture

Gyps tenuirostris


Indian Vulture

Gyps indicus


Himalayan Quail



Pink-headed Duck


It says that the reason for the decline in the number of these birds are
• Loss, modification, fragmentation and degradation of habitat
• Environmental contaminants
• Poaching
• Use changes mainly conversion of large areas to intensive crop cultivation
• Changes in cropping pattern due to various reasons including implementation of irrigation schemes
• Increased pesticide usage and livestock-grazing
• High levels of disturbance
• Developmental activities like mining and hydel projects. This also includes collision of the birds with vehicles, wind turbines and power lines

For conversion of the remaining habitats in the wet lands, grass lands and forests and river line across the countries, the steps taken by the government are
• For protection and management of protected areas the government of India provides financial and technical assistance to state/union territory government. The financial and technical support is also provided for forests protection under centrally sponsored schemes  
• India has signed into several major international conventions related to conversion and management of wildlife, which includes the endangered species of birds
• The Central Government has enacted the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 for protection of wildlife including birds. The Act, provides for creation of Protected Areas for protection of wild life and also provides for punishment for hunting of specified fauna including birds specified in the schedules I to IV thereof. Important habitats of birds have been notified as Protected Areas under the Act
• Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 have been framed for protection of wetlands, in the States, which are habitats of birds. The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-System also provides assistance to the States for management of wet lands including Ramsar sites in the country.
• Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established for control of illegal trade in wildlife, including endangered species of birds and their parts and products.
• Research and monitoring activities on birds are promoted by the Government through reputed research organizations. Wildlife Institute of India, Bombay Natural History society and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History are some of the research organizations undertaking research on conservation of birds.
• The Indian Government has banned the veterinary use of diclofenac drug that has caused rapid population decline of Gyps vulture across the Indian Subcontinent. Conservation Breeding Programmes to conserve these vulture species have been initiated at Pinjore (Haryana), Buxa (West Bengal) and Rani, Guwahati (Assam) by the Bombay Natural History Society.


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