List of Endangered Birds in Nepal | Protected Birds In Nepal

Nepal is home to over 900 species of birds, some of which are endangered and under threat from human activities such as illegal hunting and habitat destruction. If you’re interested in visiting Nepal but want to help protect the birds that live there, look no further than this list of endangered birds in Nepal so you can avoid these species while exploring this beautiful country! In this blog post, we are going to tell you about these endangered birds of Nepal in details, and what can be done to protect these species of birds in Nepal.

What Are Endangered Birds?

Endangered birds are those species of birds that are at risk of becoming extinct. In Nepal, there are many endangered birds due to habitat loss, hunting, and other human activities. Some of the most endangered birds in Nepal include the Himalayan Monal, the Red-headed Vulture, and the White-rumped Vulture. All of these birds are at risk of disappearing forever unless someone take action to protect them.

Read About Birds In Nepal

Why Does It Matter?

It’s estimated that there are between 3,200 and 5,500 different species of birds in the world. And out of those, it’s thought that 1,300 are currently endangered. That’s a lot of birds at risk of extinction! So, what can we do about it? Well, first we need to know which birds are endangered.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the list of endangered birds in Nepal and what makes them so special. As you know, Nepal is a home to over 900 species of birds that include some birds which are rare not only in Nepal but in whole world. Birds play very important role in the proper function of ecosystem. And a country like Nepal whose abudant resources is still its biodiversity needs to protects the species of birds which are on the verge of extinct.

List Of 9 Protected Birds Of Nepal

Out of more than 900 species of birds in Nepal, Department of National Parks And Wildlife Conservation has listed 9 species of birds in the list of protected species. Below are the names of these 9 protected birds of Nepal.

1. Sarus Crane

Sarus Crane belongs to Gruiformes Order and Gruidae Family. The bird is native to Nepal, Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Viet Nam. It is an uncommon and local resident in the west-central terai of Nepal. The farmlands of Rupandehi and Kapilvastu Districts are the main known area where it breeds regularly.

Sarus Crane is also reported from Beldandi and Kalikich wetlands of Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (2003), Badhaiya Tal of Bardia (2011), Nepalgunj in Banke district (2010, 2015), Dang district (2015), Jagdishpur Reservoir – a ramsar site (2006-2008) and Nawalparasi-Chitwan districts of Chitwan National Park and Bufferzone (2008-2011).

The estimated population of Sarus Crane in Nepal is more than 700 individuals. It is listed as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List category. Nepal Bird Red Data Book also categorizes it as a vulnerable species. The legal status of this globally threatened species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix II in CITES law.

2. Lesser Florican

Lesser Florican belongs to Gruiformes Order and Otididae family. The bird is recorded from Nepal, India and Pakistaan. Lesser Florican is a very rare summer visitor in Nepal. Hodson had recorded it also in Kathmandu valley during 19th Century. Presently, there are very few sighting of the species only at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Chitwan and Bardia National Parks.

The estimated maximum population is 10 individuals in Nepal. It is listed as an endangered species in the IUCN Red List category. Nepal Bird Red Data Book categorizes it as a Critically Endangered species in Nepal. The legal status of this globally threatened species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix II in CITES law.

3. Himalayan Monal (Impeyan Pheasant)

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) belongs to Galliformes order and Phasianidae family and is the national bird of Nepal. The species prefers alpine and sub-alpine areas in steep grassy and open rocky slopes and the adjacent forest during summer and descends to lower altitudes in rhododendron forest during winter, especially in times of heavy snow fall.

The bird is usually seen digging for tubers and roots, which seem to form their main diet in addition to grass roots and seeds, berries, mosses, insects and grubs. Himalayan Monal is native to Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. This bird is reported from all Himalayan protected areas: Makalu, Sagarmatha, Langtang, Shey Phoksundo, Khaptad, Kanchenjungha, Gaurishankar, Manaslu, Annapurna and other conservation areas of Nepal.

The main threats to the species arise from hunting and trapping for local consumption especially during winter, when the bird descends to lower altitudes, closer to human habitations. Hunting and trapping by shepherds and poachers during and after monsoon cannot be ignored. It is also killed for its plumes.

The world population is unknown but the Nepal population is estimated between 3500 and 5000 individuals. The bird is Least Concern according to IUCN Global Red list category but the regional IUCN status is Near Threatened (NT) for Nepal. The legal status of this species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix I in CITES law.

4. White Stork

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large bird that belongs to Stork family. It is a huge bird, 100-125 cm (40-50 in.) tall, with a 155-200 cm (61-79 in) wingspan and a weight of 2.3-4.5 kg (5-10 lbs). It is completely white except for the black wing flight feathers, and its red bill and legs, which are black on juveniles. It walks slowly and steadily on the ground. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched. It is a strong migrant, wintering mainly in tropical Africa, down to the south of South Africa, and also in the Indian subcontinent.

5. Satyr Tragopan

Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan satyra) belongs to Galliformes order and Phasianidae family. It is resident in moist oak and rhododendron forest with dense undergrowth and bamboo clumps, mixed forest, scrub and densely vegetated ravines in gentle and steep slopes. Satyr Tragopan occurs in the Himalayas of Nepal, India, Bhutan and China. In Nepal it is scarce resident and reported from 2500-3800m in summer and down to 2100m in winter.

This bird is reported from Khaptad, Shey Phoksundo, Langtang, Sagarmatha and Makalu Barun National Parks, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, and Api Nampa, Annapurna, Manaslu, Gaurishankar and Kanchenjungha Conservation Areas. Major threats for this bird include hunting for local consumption as well as habitat clearance and degradation due to timber harvesting, fuelwood and fodder collection and livestock grazing. Extraction of bamboo also poses problems for habitat of the species, given its association with bamboo undergrowth.

The world population is below 20000 individuals and the Nepal population is estimated between 600 and 1000 individuals.  The bird is Near Threatened (NT) according to IUCN Global Red list category but the regional IUCN status is Vulnerable (VU) for Nepal. The legal status of this species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973. For Nepal, it is listed at Appendix III in CITES law.

6. Great Hornbill

Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis homrai) belongs to Coraciiformes Order and Bucerotidae Family. The bird is native to Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. Great Hornbill is a rare and local resident bird in Nepal.

Great Hornbill is recorded from Chitwan National Park and its Buffer zone: Barandbahar forests, Kumroj and Namuna Community Forests, Bardia National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Ghodaghodi lake area, Kapilvastu District forests, Sarlahi District forests, between Garuwa and Sukhani of Jhapa/Ilam Districts, Ram Dhuni Sal forest of Sunsari District and Raja Rani Community Forest of Morang District.

The estimated population of Great Hornbill in Nepal is between 80 and 150 individuals. It is listed as a Near Threatened species in the IUCN Red List category. The legal status of this globally near threatened species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix I in CITES law.

7. Black Stork

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) belongs to Ciconiiformes Order and Ciconiidae Family. Globally the species has been recorded from Nepal, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Europe, Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, South-East Asia and East Asia.

Black Stork is a widespread winter visitor in Nepal below 1000m and passage migrant to 2925m altitude. Since 1990 it has been recorded in Chitwan and Bardia National Parks and Sukla Phanta, Parsa and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserves. Outside the protected areas, it has been recorded from Dang Deukhuri Important Bird Area (2009), Pokhara and Begnas Tal of Kaski District (2007/2012), Gaidakot of Nawalparasi District (2012), Dharan forests Important Bird Area (1998), uncommon sightings at Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve at the altitude of 2925m in 1981 and 1998 and passage migrant in Makalu Barun National Park (1995-1996).

The global population is estimated to number 24,000-44,000 individuals. The maximum estimated population of Black Stork in Nepal is 1000 individuals. It is listed as a least concern species in the IUCN Red List category. Nepal Bird Red Data Book categorizes it as a vulnerable species. The legal status of this species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix II in CITES law.

8. Bengal Florican

Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) is a highly threatened and rare ground nesting bird species inhabiting in Nepal, India, Cambodia and Vietnam with a world population of only 250-999. It has two sub species: Houbaropsis bengalensis bengalensis which exists in India and Nepal and Houbaropsis bengalensis blandini which subsists in Cambodia and Vietnam. In Nepal the population is estimated between 65 and 100 individuals. 

In Nepal, this bustard occurs in alluvial grasslands dominated by Imperata cylindrica in Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage area. It is listed as a Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Red List category because of its small and rapidly declining population due to widespread loss of grassland habitat in its range. The legal status of this globally threatened species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix I in CITES law.

9. Cheer Phesant

Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii synonym Catreus wallichi) belongs to Galliformes Order and Phasianidae Family. The bird is native to Nepal, India and Pakistan. It is a local resident in the western Nepal (1445-3050 m altitude); locally frequent in and around Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve and scarce elsewhere.

Cheer Pheasant is reported from Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, lower Kali Gandaki valley of Annapurna Conservation Area; Rara National Park; Kaphalpani , Dhaukudi, Kasanidada and Kulau VDC of Baitadi District; Tisimi dada and Kanachaur VDC of Doti District; Jumla Bazaar and Dhapa VDC of Jumla district; Dhanaikot VDC of Mugu district; Basti, Balata, Kuntibandali and Bhairabsthan VDC of Achham District; Dolpa district; Yalbang area in Humla district; and Kshetti area of Api Nampa Conservation Area.

The global population is estimated to number 3000-4,000 individuals. The estimated maximum population of Cheer Pheasant in Nepal is 1000 individuals. It is listed as a vulnerable species in the IUCN Red List category. Nepal Bird Red Data Book categorizes it as an endangered species. The legal status of this globally threatened species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and Appendix I in CITES law.

Some More Endangered Birds In Nepal

Nepal has numerous endemic species of birds and many of them are endangered. Here is the list of birds that are endangered in Nepal.

1. White-Rumped Vulture

The White-Rumped vultures are the old world vulture mainly found in south Asia. Since 2000, they have been listed as critically endangered species of birds on the IUCN red list. The main reason behind the rapid decrease in their number is large number of white-rumped vulture dies of kidney failure which are caused by diclofenac poisoning. As of 2021, it is estimated that only 6000 white-rumped vulture are in the existence. Out of which, currently there are 57 white-rumped vulture in Nepal under the protection of Vulture Conservation Breeding Center (VCBC). This scavenger bird plays a vital role in maintaining healthy wildlife habitate by feeding on the carcasses of dead animals which can be hazardous to other wildlife. To insure their safety the government has put a ban on diclofenac.

2. Rufous-Necked Hornbill

Will you believe, this species of bird in Nepal was spotted after 200 years in Nepal. The last time Rufous-Necked Hornbill was spotted in Nepal in 1829 A.D. After 200 years, it was again spotted in Nepal by a wildlife photographer Deven Kharel on December 21, 2021. He found and photographed a pair of male rufous-necked hornbills in Sim Dhap of Suryodaya Municipality in eastern Nepal’s Ilam District. Rufous-Necked Hornbill is a species of hornbill found in Bhutan, northeast India, and Nepal. With a length of about 117 cm (46 in),[3] it is among the largest Bucerotine hornbills. Due to hunting and significant loss of habitant, this species of hornbill is locally extinct in Nepal.

3. Wooly-Neck Stork

Wooly-Neck Stork is a large wading bird found in Asia and Africa. They are distributed in a wide variety of habitants, but though they are mostly found in wetlands, rivers, ponds, lakes, and dams. They have black head, white neck and body, red legs, black bill, and are capable of long flights. Same like white-rumped vulture, they are also under the category of critically endangered species on IUCN red list. In Nepal, these birds are seen in Karnali river of Nepal.

4. Spiny Babbler

Known as Kande Bhyakur in Nepali language, Spiny Babbler is a bird that is only found in Nepal. It was first scientifically described by Brian Houghton Hodgson in the mid-19th century, then never seen again. It was thought to be completly extinct from the world for over centuries but later it suddenly came under everyone’s attention when “Sidney Dillon Ripley”, an American ornithologist came to know about its existence. They are medium sized birds, shy in nature, and can be seen in easily around Kathmandu Valley specifically around Godavari and Pulchowki area.

5. Steppe Eagle

Steppe Eagle is a national bird of Egypt, and can also be seen on the national flag of Kazakhstan. These species of eagles are known for long distance migration. The main reasons behind the extinction of these eagles are increasing steppe fires, pest around the nest which cause a large volume of nest failure, disturbance and persecution by human, and trampling of nest by livestock. Due to these and many other reasons, there have been a massive decline in the number of steppe eagles throughout the world. Therefore, steppe eagles are considered to be endangered by the IUCN red list. In Nepal they are stopped at Khare village of the Dolakha district.

Conclusion

The most abundant resource of Nepal still remains its rich biodiversity, including endemic species of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on Earth. So, it become very important for a country like Nepal to conserve and protect these flora and fauna that includes these above-mentioned endangered birds in Nepal. This list is made on the basis of the list of protected birds in Nepal made by Departments of National Parks And Wildlife Conservations and several other articles made on the topic of endangered species in Nepal.

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