Raptor attention: 160 species of birds of prey endangered worldwide

What is the news?

A new analysis by ‘International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International’ remarks about the threats faced by the birds of prey.

The study claims, 30 percent of the 557 raptor species around the world are threatened by extinction to some degree.

What are the key findings of the study?

The study noted that the raptors prey on a wide range of vertebrates and thus, facilitate long-distance seed dispersal. This indirectly increases seed production and pest control.

The study mentions that 557 raptor species around the world are facing threats of extinction.  Of these, 18 species are critically endangered, 25 are endangered, 57 are vulnerable and 66 are near-threatened.

The threats of birds are a result of habitat loss, deforestation, pollution, human-wildlife conflicts and climate change.

The population of Philippine eagles, the largest variety of eagles in the world, and the hooded vulture decreased rapidly in the last decades.

The Annobon scops-owl has an estimated population of fewer than 250 and is restricted to Annobon Island off West Africa. Recently, it has been classified as ‘critically endangered’ because of rapid habitat loss and degradation.

Key findings related to India

The vulture population in India has declined by over 95 percent because of the widespread use of diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

What are Raptors?

Raptors are also known as birds of prey. These are species of birds that primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates. This includes birds such as a hawk, eagle, owl, vulture, etc.

Source: This post is based on the article “Raptor attention: 160 species of birds of prey endangered worldwide” published in “Down To Earth” on 1st September 2021.

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