News Excerpt
At the ongoing UN 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in Gujarat. The researchers have released a titled report ‘State of India’s Birds 2020’, which highlighted that the bird population in India is on decline. More than 50 % of the Indian bird species have registered a decline over the last few decades.

•    India has 8% of the known global biodiversity.  
•    India has diverse ecological habitats and also has four biodiversity hot spots. They are - the Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats, Indo-Myanmar landscape and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  
•    In addition, India is also home to around 500 species of migratory birds from across the globe. Conservation of wildlife and habitats has been a part of the cultural ethos of India, which encourages compassion and co-existence.

Major Findings
    The Great Indian Bustard (GIB), is being brought back from the brink. Having lost about 90% of its population during the last five-decade period.
    The findings were combined with the Red list of the IUCN and 101 species were categorised as “high concern”, 319 as “moderate concern” and 442 into “low concern”. Out of the species categorised as high concern, 26% are classified globally by IUCN as “least concern”.
    The local sparrow population was found to be roughly stable across the country as a whole, although it has fallen in the major cities.
    The population of migratory birds (both long distance and within the subcontinent) also showed a "steep decline".
    The report says that since the 1990s, the numbers of several species of vultures, bustards and other specialist grassland birds have also drastically dropped.
    The 12 Western Ghats endemics indicate a steep long-term decline. It is shown even by many common species like Crimson-backed Sunbird and Yellow-browed Bulbul.
    The report points out that the Indian vultures have experienced catastrophic population declines starting in the early 1990s. Inadvertent poisoning by the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is the prime reason for this decline.

Reasons for drastic decline-
There are variety of reasons which attribute to the decline like-
    Growing threat from loss of habitat, widespread presence of toxins, and decrease in insect populations as well as nesting places, hunting and trapping by humans.
    Hunting and habitat loss are the two main reasons behind the decline. "Collision" with electricity lines is a prime current threat to birds.
    For the vast majority of Indian birds, lack of data has hindered a clear understanding of their faring pattern. Such an understanding is vital for conservation science, management and policy.
    There is no conclusive evidence on the effects of radiation from mobile phone towers on bird.
India’s Effort: Indian government proposes a 10-year plan to protect birds and conserve their habitats. At least 1,317 bird species have been recorded in India.

Recently, the flame-throated bulbul, also called the Rubigula, was chosen as the mascot of the 36th National Games to be held in Goa because it is the State bird.