INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE
- (IUCN) is an international organization (NGO) working in the field of nature conservationand sustainable use of natural resources.
- It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education.
- The organization is best known for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.
- Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland.
IUCN RED LIST OR RED DATA LIST OR RED BOOK
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.
- When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term “threatened”is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
- The pink pagesin this publication include the critically endangered species.
- As the status of the species changes, new pages are sent to the subscribers.
- Green pagesare used for those species that were formerly endangered but have now recovered to a point where they are no longer threatened.
- With passing time, the number of pink pages continue to increase.
IUCN CLASSIFICATION OF CONSERVATION PRIORITY
A) Extinct (EX)
- A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt thatthe last individual has died.
B) Extinct in the Wild (EW)
- A taxon is Extinct in the Wild when it is known only tosurvive in cultivation, in captivity or as a naturalized population (or populations) well outside the past range.
C) Critically Endangered (CR)
- A taxon is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the criteria for Critically Endangered
- Reduction in population (> 90% over the last 10 years),
- Population size (number less than 50 mature individuals),
- Quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinctionin wild in at least 50% in their 10 years) and
- It is therefore considered to be facing an extremely highrisk of extinction in the wild.
D) Endangered (EN)
- A taxon is Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the criteria for Endangered.
- Reduction in population size (70% over the last 10 years),
- Population size estimated to number fewer than 250mature individuals, quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in wild in at least 20% within 20 years
- It is therefore considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
E) Vulnerable (VU)
- A taxon is Vulnerable when the best available evidenceindicates that it meets any of the criteria for Vulnerable i.e.
- reduction in population (> 50% over the last 10 years)
- population size estimated to number fewer than 10,000mature individuals,
- probability of extinction in wild is at least 10% within100 years, and
- It is therefore considered to be facing a high risk ofextinction in the wild.
F) Near Threatened (NT)
- A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluatedagainst the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered,Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close toqualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened categoryin the near future.
G) Least Concern (LC)
- A taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluatedagainst the criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened.
H) Data Deficient (DD)
- A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate informationto make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its riskof extinction based on its distribution and/or populationstatus.
- A taxon in this category may be well studied, andits biology well known, but appropriate data on abundanceand/or distribution are lacking.
- Data Deficient is therefore not a category of threat.
I) Not Evaluated (NE)
- A taxon is Not Evaluated when it is has not yet been evaluatedagainst the criteria.
- BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership.
- Together they are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide.
- BirdLife Internationalstrives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.
- BirdLife International is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservationof Nature.
- It identifies the sites known/referred to as ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas’.
IUCN RED LIST INDIA
A) ‘Critically Endangered’ Mammals
- Is the world’s smallest wild pig
- Threats: Habitat loss affecting natural succession.
- Distribution: Previously spread across India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Now only found in Assam (Manas Wildlife Sanctuary and its buffer reserves).
- Habitat/distribution: Western Ghats.
- Threats: Deforestation and commercial plantations are major threats.
- It is endemic to India.
Himalayan Brown Bear
- Distribution: Nepal, Tibet, north India, and north Pakistan.
- Threats: Man – animal conflict
Namdapha Flying Squirrel
- It is a unique (the only one in its genus) flying squirrel that is restricted to a single valley in the Namdapha N.P. (or) W.L.S. in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Habitat/distribution: Found only in Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Threats: Hunted for food.
- It is now thought to be regionally extinct in India, though it once occurred in the foothills of the Himalayasand north-east India.
- The Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is also believed to be extinct in India and only a small number survive in Java and Vietnam.
- Threat: Poaching, loss of habitat.
- Habitat: Dense riverine forests, high valleys, and mountains of the Kashmir valley and northern Chamba in Himachal Pradesh.
- State animal of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Threat: habitat destruction, over-grazing by domestic livestock, and poaching.
- It is sometimes known to build nests.
- Habitat: Tropical and subtropical dry deciduous forests and tropical scrub.
- Threats: Major threats are habitatloss, overgrazing of vegetation and disturbance from tourism and recreational activities.
Large Rock Rat or Elvira Rat
- It is a medium sized, nocturnal and burrowing rodent endemic to India.
- Habitat/distribution: Known only from Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu. Recorded from an elevation of about 600 m above mean sea level.
- Threats: Major threats are habitat loss, conversion of forests and fuel wood collection.
Andaman White-toothed Shrew
- Distribution: It is endemic to the South Andaman Island of India.
- Threats: Habitat loss due to selective logging, natural disasters such as tsunami and drastic weather change are thought to contribute to current population declines.
B) ‘Endangered’ Mammals
- Red panda is endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas.
- Habitat: Sikkim and Assam, northern Arunachal Pradesh.
- Threats: habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.
- Endemic to the Western Ghats.
- Habitat: Evergreen forests in the Western Ghats range.
- Threat: Habitat fragmentation due to spread of agriculture and tea, coffee, teak and cinchona.
Tigers (including Bengal Tiger)
- 2015: International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN), said that tiger numbers have grown to 3,890—a marked increase from estimates in 2010 that put the number at “as few as 3,200.”
- The general observation is that the population of tigers in India has increased while that of the rest of the world has decreased.
Asiatic Lion (Included Gir Lions)
- Habitat: Gir forests in Gujarat
- Threats: Habitat destruction, Diseases spreading from domestic animals.
Himalayan Musk Deer
- Habitat: Kashmi, Sikkim.
Threat: poaching & illegal trade for its musk.
Hispid hare/ Assam rabbit
- Habitat: Southern foothills of the central Himalayas.
- Threats: The habitat of hispid hares is highly fragmented due to increasing agriculture, flood control, and human development.
- Threats: Habitat loss, overgrazing, illegal hunting.
- Western Ghats in South India ( Kerala & Tamil Nadu )
- Habitat: Terai region and grasslands in northern India.
- Threats: Hunting, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, human encroachments.
Eld’s deer/thamin or brow-antlered deer
- Distribution: Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), Manipur.
- Threats: Overgrazing, loss of grassland habitat.
C) ‘Endangered’ Marine Mammals
Freshwater (River) Dolphin/ South Asian River Dolphin
- Distribution: India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan which is split into two subspecies, the Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin.
- Threats: Unintentional killing through entanglement in fishing gear; habitat loss and degradation – water development projects , pollution – industrial waste and pesticides, municipal sewage discharge and noise from vessel traffic.
Ganges river dolphin (Susu)
- Habitat: Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers and their tributaries in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
- The Ganges river dolphin has been recognized by the government of India as its National Aquatic Animal.
Indus river dolphin
- Habitat: Indus River in Pakistan and its Beas and Sutlej tributaries.
D) ‘Vulnerable’ Mammals
- Habitat: Hilly areas of Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- Threats: Hunted for skin, medicine, habitat loss.
- Placed in Vulnerable category.
- Threats: Trade in bones is the major reason for their dwindling numbers.
- Gaur are largely confined to evergreen forests or semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests, but also occur in deciduous forest areas at the periphery of their range
- Threats: Habitat loss, habitat degradation, forest fragmentation with human population.
Great Indian one horn Rhinoceros
- Habitat: Found only in the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas (Terai region).
- National Parks: Kaziranga National Park, Pabitora wildlife sanctuary, Manas National Park, Assam.
- Threat: Poached for its horn (in SE Asian countries it is a belief that its horn has medicinal properties), habitat loss, habitat fragmentation.
- Distribution: Presently it is confined to the Indian subcontinent. Scattered between the foothills of the Himalayas in the north to the Deccan Plateau in the south. Gir National Park has 1000 of these animals.
- Threats: Loss of its natural habitat due to agricultural expansion. Four-horned skull and horns have made it a popular target for hunters.
- Habitat: Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China. They occur in northern West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
- Threat: deforestation and poaching.
- Distribution: Mountainous regions in the Himalayan Mountains and western China.
- Threats: Largely due to overhunting and the destruction of their natural habitat, takin are considered Endangered in China and Vulnerable as per the IUCN.
- Endemic to the Western Ghats. Inhabits areas that are far from human disturbance.
- Threat: habitat loss and fragmentation, hunting for its fur.
Oriental small-clawed otter/ Asian small-clawed otter
- Habitat: It lives in mangrove swampsand freshwater wetlands.
- Threat: habitat loss, pollution and hunting.
Asian black bear
- Habitat: Seen across much of the Himalayas, Korea, north-eastern China, the Russian far east and the Honshu and Shikoku islands of Japan.
- Threats: deforestation and active hunting for its body parts.
E) ‘Vulnerable’ Herbivorous Marine Mammals
- Habitat: Indian seas (near shore waters of Gulf of Mannar, Gulf of Kachchh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, the Amazon Basin, and West Africa
- Threat: Habitat & degradation loss, indigenous use & hunting, pollution.
F) ‘Near Threatened’ Mammals
- Distribution: Mostly occurs in Rann of Kutch region.
- Threats: Diseases, habitat degradation due to salt activities, Invasive species Prosopisjuliflorashrub, and encroachment and grazing by the Maldhari.
- Habitat: northern India and Nepal, through south-eastern Asia to Borneo and Sumatra. In India – Sikkim, Darjeeling, moist tropical forest.
- Threats: hunting, habitat destruction for marbled cat and its prey.
Chiru/ Tibetan Antelope
- Habitat: Tibet cold desert.
- Threat: The chiru is threatened by hunting for its fine wool which is used to make the shahtoosh scarves, meat, magnificent horns.
- Habitat: Himalayas.
- Threats: In India, Himalayan tahr is sometimes hunted for meat.
- Habitat: Mountains of central Asia. In India – some parts of Jammu and Kashmir .
- Threats: Hunting (both for meat and for its twisted horns), armed conflict and habitat loss.
G) Least concern
- Distribution: In the Indian subcontinent, the blackbuck can also be found in deserts (in the north western region), coastal areas, mountains (in the northern-north-eastern region) Habitat: Grass land.
- Threat: excessive hunting for meat and sporting trophies, as well as habitat loss.
H) ‘Not Evaluated’ Mammals
- Distribution: Trans-Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Threats – Climate Change, Prey by humans to protect their cattle.
A) ‘Critically Endangered’ Birds
- Distribution: Extremely rare bird found in five or six sites in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, one or two sites in Bhutan, and a few in Myanmar.
- Threats: Loss and degradation of lowland forests and wetlands through direct exploitation and disturbance by humans.
- Distribution: Western Himalayas.
- Threats: Indiscriminate hunting during the colonial period along with habitat
The Jerdon’s Courser
- It is a nocturnal bird found only in the northern part of the state of Andhra Pradesh in peninsular India (Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary).
- Distribution: Jerdon’s Courser is endemic to Andhra Pradesh.
- Threats: Clearing of scrub jungle, creation of new pastures, growing of dry land crops, Illegal trapping of birds, plantations of exotic trees, quarrying and the construction of the River Canals.
- Distribution: Native to only 3 countries in the world – Cambodia, India and Nepal. In India, it occurs in 3 states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Threats: Ongoing conversion of the bird’s grassland habitat for various purposes including agriculture is mainly responsible for its population decline.
Pink- headed Duck
- Distribution: Recorded in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Maximum records are from north-east India.
- Threats: Wetland degradation and loss of habitat, along with hunting are the main causes of its decline.
- Distribution: central Asia, Asia Minor, Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan. In India, habitat is restricted to the north and north-west of the country.
- Threats: Conversion of habitat to arable land, illegal hunting and proximity to human settlements.
- Located distribution: Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan.
- Threats: Pesticide pollution, wetland drainage, development of prime habitat into agricultural fields, and to some extent, hunting.
Spoon Billed Sandpiper
- Distribution: Has been recorded along the coastlines of West Bengal, Orissa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Threats: Habitat degradation and land reclamation. Human disturbance also leads to high incidence of nest desertion.
B) Endangered Birds
- Habitat: South Madhya Pradesh, in north-west Maharashtra and north-central Maharashtra.
- Threats: Logging operations, burning and cutting of trees damage roosting and nesting trees of the Forest Owlet.
C) ‘Vulnerable’ Birds
- The bird, most commonly found in China, is legally protected in Bhutan and India and is considered sacred to certain Buddhist traditions.
Great Indian Hornbill
- Habitat: Rainforest regions of India (Western Ghats and North eastern region of India), Southeast Asia.
- Threats: Habitat loss and hunting.
D) ‘Least Concern’ Birds
The Himalayan bulbul or white-cheeked bulbul (2019)
- Habitat: Himalayan Forests.
A) ‘Critically Endangered’ Reptiles
- Distribution: Only viable population in the National Chambal Sanctuary, spread across three states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in India.
- Threats: The combined effects of dams, barrages, artificial embankments, change in river course, pollution, sand-mining, riparian agriculture and ingress of domestic and feral livestock.
Crocodile species in India
- Gharials (Critically Endangered) once thrived in all the major river systems of the Indian Subcontinent.
- Today, they are extinct in the Indus River, in the Brahmaputra of Bhutan and Bangladesh, and in the Irrawaddy River.
- Their distribution is now limited to only 2% of their former range.
- The mugger (or marsh) crocodile (Vulnerable)is a freshwater species found sparsely in various lakes, rivers and marshes in the Indian subcontinent.
- Apart from the eastern coast of India, the saltwater crocodile (Least Concern)is extremely rare on the Indian subcontinent.
- A huge population is present within the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary of Odishaand they are known to be present in smaller numbers throughout the Indian and Bangladeshi portions of the Sundarbans.
Red-crowned Roofed Turtle or the Bengal Roof Turtle
- Distribution: Found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In India it resides basically in the watershed of the Ganga.
- Threats: Water development projects, water pollution, human disturbance and poaching for the illegal wildlife market.
Four-toed River Terrapin or River Terrapin
- Distribution: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Threats: Use of flesh for medicinal purposes, demand for eggs, which are considered a delicacy
- Distribution: In India they are found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the coast of Tamil Nadu and Orissa.
- Threats: Turtle shell trade, egg collection, slaughter for meat, oil pollution and destruction of nesting and foraging habitats.
B) ‘Vulnerable’ Reptiles
Olive ridley sea turtle
- Also known as the Pacific ridley sea turtle.
- In the Indian Ocean, the majority of olive ridleys nest near Gahirmathain Odisha.
- The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the olive ridleys.
- Threats: unsustainable egg collection, slaughtering nesting females on the beach, and direct harvesting adults at sea for commercial sale of both the meat and hides.
- Distribution: Found in tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and into Indian Oceans.
- Threats: High sea fishing operations, harvesting of eggs, destruction of nests by wild predators and domesticated species such as cats, dogs and pigs.
- It is the largest of the living sea turtles, weighing as much as 900 kg.
C) ‘Near Threatened’ Reptiles
Sispara day gecko
- Distribution: Endemic to Western Ghats, and found in Sispara, Nilgiris, Kavalai near Cochin.
- Threats: Habitat conversion and modification.
FISH & CORALS
A) ‘Critically Endangered’ Fish
- Distribution: Western part of the Indo-Pacific (East Africa to New Guinea, Philippines and Vietnam to Australia).
- In India, it is known to enter the Mahanadi river, up to 64 km inland, and also is very common in the estuaries of the Ganga and Brahmaputra.
- Threats: The principal threat to all sawfish are fisheries. Their long tooth-studded saw makes them extraordinarily vulnerable to entanglement in any sort of net gear.
The Pondicherry Shark
- Distribution: Indian Ocean – from Gulf of Oman to Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.
- Also been recorded at the mouth of the Hooghly river.
- Threats: Large, expanding, and unregulated commercial fisheries in inshore localities and habitats.
The Ganges Shark
- Distribution: It occurs in India and possibly in Pakistan. The Ganga river system and Hooghly river mouth are its known habitats.
- Threats: Major fisheries targeting sharks. Other probable threats include overfishing, pollution, increasing river use and construction of dams and barrages.
Long-comb Sawfish or Narrow-snout Sawfish
- Distribution: Indo-Pacific region including Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Threats: This species has been damaged intensively, both as a target species and as incidental by catch in commercial, sport or shark-control net fisheries, as well as for aquarium display.
B) ‘Endangered’ Fishes
Knife-tooth Sawfish (Anoxypristiscuspidata)
- Distribution: Widespread in western part of the Indo-Pacific region, including Red Sea.
- Threats: Similar to Long-comb Sawfish.
- ‘Critically Endangered’ Spiders
Gooty Tarantula, Metallic Tarantula or Peacock Tarantula
- Distribution: Endemic to South India.
- Threats: They are one of the most expensive spiders in the illegal pet trade.
Rameshwaram Ornamental or Rameshwaram Parachute Spider
- Distribution: Endemic to India. Spread along the coastal savannah, tropical lowland rain forests and montane forests up to an altitude of 2000 m above mean sea level.
- Threats: Major threats causing the disappearance of this species is habitat alteration and degradation.
C) ‘Critically Endangered’ Corals
- Distribution: Indonesia, Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama Pacific Province. Possibly extinct from Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore and Thailand.
- Threats: Collected for decoration and jewellery trade. This group is also sensitive to temperature rise and is thought to have completely disappeared from the majority of marine areas possibly because of growing global warming related bleaching effects.