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Asia
9 Mar 2016

National Red List book for Nepal's birds published and online

The Near Threatend Satyr Tragopan: one of 800 species to regularly occur in Nepal (Photo: Matěj Baťha)
By Ed Parnell

A new publication that features the first assessment of Nepal’s birdlife based on IUCN Red List criteria was launched recently at an event at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The six-volume publication is now also freely available online as an invaluable conservation reference.

The Status of Nepal's Birds: The National Red List Series contains detailed accounts of more than 800 species that regularly occur in the country, as well as maps showing distribution changes since 1990.

The study was led by Carol Inskipp and Hem Sagar Baral, with additional contributions from 10 other authors. There are images provided by140 photographers, and bird records submitted by many local people. More than 20 Nepalese government departments and NGOs, including Bird Conservation Nepal (BirdLife in Nepal) also contributed to the impressive collaborative effort.

The six-volume, 3000-page book is published by ZSL.

“This study has been undertaken to assess for the first time the national conservation status of Nepal’s birds, and in particular to identify those species that are threatened with extinction in the country. Such an assessment is vital in order to guide conservation activities in the country,” said Richard Grimmett, BirdLife International’s Director of Conservation.

Almost 20% of Nepal’s birds (167 species) could soon be lost from the country, including 37 species that are threatened on a global scale. A further 62 species are near-threatened nationally, and nine species have not been recorded in Nepal since the 19th century.

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Lowland grassland specialists are the most threatened group of birds with 55% of species threatened, followed by wetland birds (25%) and tropical and subtropical broad-leaved forest birds (24%).

Of particular note, is the importance of Nepal for the following globally threatened species, which have important populations in the country: