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15 species of birds from India are critically endangered – IUCN Red List of Birds

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  red list of birds 2013 (version 2013.2) marked 15 species of birds from India as critically endangered. The details of the bird species reported from India are given in the table below;

Indian Vulture
Indian Vulture

Sr. No.

Common Name Scientific Name


Baer’s Pochard Aythyabaeri


Forest Owlet Heteroglauxblewitti


Great Indian Bustard Ardeotisnigriceps


Bengal Florican Houbaropsisbengalensis


Siberian Crane Grusleucogeranus


Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchuspygmeus


Sociable Lapwing Vanellusgregarius


Jerdon’s Courser Rhinoptilusbitorquatus


White backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis


Red-headed Vulture Sarcogypscalvus


White-bellied Heron Ardeainsignis


Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris


Indian Vulture Gyps indicus


Himalayan Quail Ophrysiasuperciliosa


Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessacaryophyllacea

Bengal Florican (found in UP, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh); Great Indian Bustard (found in Kutch, Maharashtra, Deccan, Rajasthan, Andhra, Karnataka, eggs being collected in Andhra and Karnataka. Bustards like monsoon crops – Sorghum, Millet etc but now farmers grow cash crops- sugarcane, cotton and so their food source has vanished); Sociable Lapwing (found in Kutch and Rajasthan, Grasslands and scrub forests destruction have led to their endangerment); Jerdon’s Courser (found in Eastern Ghat Andhra, South MP, their habitat was destroyed due to Telugu-Ganga Canal in Andhra Pradesh); Forest Owlet (found in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, tribals are largely responsible as eggs, feathers, bones have been used for making drums); Spoon-billed Sandpiper (found in North East and Bangladesh, dam construction primary reason); Siberian Crane (Wetland destruction); White-bellied Heron (found in North East India, Bhutan, Myanmar, wetland destruction for tea plantations is primary reason and also poaching); Red-headed Vulture (Gujarat, North East, Himalayan foothills, diclofenac drug main reason); Baer’s Pochard (hunting and wetland destruction); Siberian Crane (used to be spotted in Keoladeo National Park, wetland loss and degradation at wintering sites). The major reasons for decline in the population of birds are – loss of habitat, environmental pollution (both industrial and due to increased pesticide usage), poaching, land use changes, livestock-grazing, etc.

Reference:  Report by Press Information Bureau (PIB)

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