State of birds report 2023: Most species show dip, Indian Peafowl among those flourishing

Source: The post is based on the article “State of birds: Most species show dip, Indian Peafowl among those flourishing”  published in Indian Express on 28th August 2023

What is the News?

The State of India’s Birds, 2023 has been released.

What is the State of India’s Birds Report, 2023?

State of India’s Birds Report ​​is an assessment of the distribution range, trends in abundance and conservation status of 942 of India’s 1,200 bird species.

Published by: State of India’s Birds Partnership, a group of 13 governments (including SACON, WII, ZSI) and non-governmental organizations.

What are the key findings of the State of India’s Birds, 2023?

Source: Hindustan Times

Decline in birds: Of the 338 species that had enough data to assess for long-term trends, 60% of the species showed long-term declines.

– Birds that feed on vertebrates and carrion (including raptors and vultures) have declined greatly, suggesting harmful pollutants in their food resources, a decline in prey availability, or both.

Endemic Birds: Birds endemic to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspots have rapidly declined in India over the past few decades. India is home to 232 endemic species, found nowhere else in the world.

Birds that live in open habitats are severely impacted: Open habitats in India have been severely compromised by the spread of invasive, drought tolerant woody plants, as well as wind turbines and power lines, impacting several bird species. Of particular note is the Great Grey Shrike, which has suffered a worrisome long-term decline of more than 80%.

Three Indian Bustard species face imminent extinction: The three bustard species that breed in India – the Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and Bengal Florican – face imminent extinction.

Migratory birds under greater threat than resident species: Birds face many dangers during migration, from extreme weather events, to predation, starvation, and hunting/illegal killing.

Long-distance migrants have declined the most, by over 50% followed by short-distance migrants.

Some bird species are in abundance: Several species like the Indian Peafowl, Rock Pigeon, Asian Koel, and House Crow are thriving and increasing in both abundance and distribution.

– For instance, there has been a 150% increase in the abundance of peafowl across the country over the past decades.

What are the major threats to birds in India highlighted in the report?

The major threats are: Climate Change, Urbanization, Monocultures, Energy Infrastructure, ecosystem degradation and environmental pollutants.

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