Indian Bird Species have declined by 79% says State of India’s Bird Report at CMS COP-13

Feb 19,2020

The State of India’s Birds Report 2020 which was released on Feb 18,20220 has revealed that there has been an astounding decline of 79% of the Indian species of birds.  This report was released during the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP 13) held from 17th February 2020.


  • This report has assessed the status of 867 Indian birds.
  • Assessment of current trends was done for 79% and it showed decline.
  • Assessment of long term tends was done for 50% and it showed decline.
  • 101 spp have been classified as “high conservation concern.’’
  • Both long term and current trends in case of peafowl show increase in the number.
  • House sparrow –number fairly stable during past 25 years. Rise in number in rural areas and “gradual decline “in urban areas. Data collected from 6 large Metro cities Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai) corroborates this.
  • Greater decline shown by raptors, migratory shore birds and habitat specialists.
  • Report is based on the survey conducted by 1500 bird watchers.

Criteria for Assessment:

Assessment is based on 3 indices:

i) Based on abundance. This is studied at two levels:

a) Long Term Trend (+25 years)

b) Current Trend (+5 years)

 iii) Measure of distribution range size.


Long Term Assessment:

  • Conducted for 261 spp.
  • 52 % declined by 2000.
  • 22% declined strongly.
  • 43% Showed stability.
  • 5% showed increasing trend.

Current Term Assessment:

  • Conducted for 146 spp.
  • 80% decline.
  • 50% decline strongly.
  • 6% show stability.
  • 14% show increase.
  • Range Size of all but 6 spp were estimated.

On the basis of these three indices along with IUCN Red List criteria (for threatened spp) each spp has been classified into categories of Conservation Concern for India as follows:

  • High Concern Category-101 spp.
  • Moderate Concern Category-319 spp.
  • Low Concern Category-442 spp.

Who Prepared the Report:

10 Research and Conservation Organisations gave inputs for this report. Prominent among these being:

  •  The Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment,Wildlife Institute of India,World Wide Fund for  Nature India, Wetlands International,Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. Bombay Natural History Society.

 Do you know?

  • Arunachal Pradesh’s Singchung Bugun Tribal Village has been transformed into a Community Reserve.
  • It was built to preserve a rare species of bird. These rare spp. of birds has been named as Bugun Liochila
  • The community collaborated to build this community reserve which  includes the Bugun tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, forest department officials and researchers.

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