The Ministry of Environment and Forest recently announced that there are 14 species of birds that might not fly anymore in the future and might be extinct in India. The announcement came after International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) informed the ministry.

The three main reasons for the threatened status of these birds, according to IUCN is poaching, excessive use of insecticides and loss of habitat. The birds which or on the extinction list include,

  1. White-rumped Vulture
  2. Indian Vulture
  3. Red-headed Vulture
  4. Siberian Crane
  5. Bengal Florican
  6. Himalayan Quail
  7. Forest Owlet
  8. White-belled Heron
  9. Sociable Lapwing
  10. Christmas Frigatebird
  11. Jerdon’s Courser
  12. Pink-headed Duck
  13. Spoon billed Sandpiper
  14. Great Indian Bustard

India’s environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said that the ministry was aware of the critical condition these birds are in and many measures were being taken to safeguard their future.

The minister said the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, provides for stringent punishments for those violating the provisions of the act. Besides, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up to control the illegal trade in wildlife, including endangered birds and their parts or products, she added.

The bird species listed are mostly indicator species that help environmentalist know the general health of any given habitat. E.g. the Great Indian Bustard is a bird that survives in grassland habitat and therefore, its extinction could mean that the grassland habitats too are threatened and not doing well. Likewise the extinction of vultures could jeopardise the whole balance of nature where vultures act as crucial scavangers disposing dead animal bodies which if left untouched could lead to diseases and epidemic.

Thus, much as the environment ministry has a tough task ahead of itself to save the birds, the public too has a responsibility to save these species so as to save their own crucial environment and future.


About Atula Gupta

Atula Gupta is the Founder and Editor of Her work has appeared in a number of international websites, dailies and magazines including The Wire, Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts.

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