By Linah Baliga
MUMBAI: Even as conservation efforts at various levels continue to show hope for the future, the latest International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Birds (2013) shows that fifteen bird species in India continue to be Critically Endangered (CR). Moreover, three other bird species now face greater danger than before. These species have been uplisted to Near Threatened (NT) and Vulnerable (VU) categories. Earlier they were better off and classified under Least Concern (LC) category. In India, organizations such as BNHS-India play a crucial role in researching and collating such information, as the BirdLife International ( UK) country partner.
The species falling under the critically endangered category in India include migratory wetland species: Baer's Pochard, Siberian Crane and Spoon-billed Sandpiper; non-migratory wetland species: White-bellied Heron; grassland species: Bengal Florican, Great Indian Bustard, Jerdon's Courser and Sociable Lapwing; forest species: Forest Owlet and scavengers: Indian Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, White-backed Vulture and Slender-billed Vulture. Himalayan Quail and Pink-headed Duck are now considered Extinct for all practical purposes.