According to the latest IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List (2014), a whopping 173 Indian bird species now fall under the category Threatened. Many moved from Vulnerable to Threatened, and even Critically Endangered (like the case of Bugun Liocichla from the North-East). According to a press release by Bombay Natural History Society, studies conducted by BNHS-India, BirdLife International (UK) and other partner organizations have found that eight other bird species have newly entered the threatened list.
Woolly-necked Stork, Andaman Teal (both uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable), Andaman Green Pigeon, Ashy-headed Green Pigeon, Red-headed Falcon, Himalayan Griffon, Bearded Vulture and Yunnan Nuthatch are the eight species of birds newly added to the list. These birds have been uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened. Uplisted, in this parlance refers to moving up the list, “deeper into the danger zone” according to the press release.
First described by modern science in the 1990s this tiny bird has till now been reported from a few areas such as Eaglenest Sanctuary and Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is likely to exist in other areas of the state and some neighbouring areas of Bhutan and China.
Although found in most parts of India Woolly-necked Stork is facing rapid population decline.
Andaman Teal is found only on Great Coco Island and Andaman Islands of India with less than 1000 individuals recorded till now.
Andaman Green Pigeon
Endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India, it is estimated that a couple of thousand individuals may exist.
Ashy-headed Green Pigeon
This bird is confined to the north-eastern states of India.
Still found in declining numbers in most parts of India (except the Himalayan ranges) and several neighbouring countries, it has disappeared from many areas. In Pakistan it has declined partly due to the falconry trade.
Found only in the Himalayan ranges, Himalayan Griffon is likely to decline further due to the impact of diclofenac use in livestock, as in the case of several other vulture species.
Bearded Vulture or Lammergeyer is also found in the Himalayan ranges in India and similar habitats in other parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. It has been facing moderately rapid population decline.
Yunnan Nuthatch found in Yunnan province of China, has been recorded only in Arunachal Pradesh in India. Habitat loss from a variety of factors such as infrastructure development and forest fires and poaching and use of chemicals are jeopardizing the existence of these and other threatened species.
The total number of species recognised by BirdLife in the 2014 Red List is 10,425. Among them category-wise break-up is as follows: Extinct: 140; Extinct in the Wild: 4; Critically Endangered: 213; Endangered: 419; Vulnerable: 741; NearThreatened: 959; Least Concern: 7,886 and Data Deficient: 62. Species are assigned to a particular category based on whether they meet criteria linked to population trends, population size and structure and geographic range. Species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable are collectively described as Threatened.
All data from BNHS press release.