Nepal’s National Red List of Birds

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Carol Inskipp
Hem Sagar Baral
Tim Inskipp
Ambika Prasad Khatiwada
Monsoon Pokharel Khatiwada
Laxman Prasad Poudyal
Rajan Amin


The main objectives of the Nepal National Bird Red Data Book were to provide comprehensive and up-to-date accounts of all the bird species found in Nepal, assess their status applying the IUCN Guidelines at Regional Levels, identify threats to all bird species and recommend the most practical measures for their conservation.  It is hoped that the Bird RDB will help Nepal achieve the Convention on Biological Diversity target of preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status.  As population changes of Nepal’s birds have been studied for only a few species, assessments of species’ national status were mainly made by assessing changes in distribution.  Species distribution maps were produced for all of Nepal’s bird species except vagrants and compared to maps that were produced in 1991 using the same mapping system.  Of the 878 bird species recorded, 168 species (19%) were assessed as nationally threatened. These comprise 68 (40%) Critically Endangered species, 38 (23%) Endangered species and 62 (37%) Vulnerable species.  A total of 62 species was considered Near Threatened and 22 species Data Deficient.  Over 55% of the threatened birds are lowland grassland specialists, 25% are wetland birds and 24% tropical and sub-tropical broadleaved forest birds.  Larger birds appear to be more threatened than smaller birds with 98 (25%) non-passerine species threatened and 67 (14%) passerine species.  Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are the most important threats.  Other threats include chemical poisoning, over-exploitation, climate change, hydropower, invasive species, intensification of agriculture, disturbance, and limited conservation measures and research.  Measures to address these threats are described.  It was also concluded that re-assessments of the status of certain bird groups carried out every five years and the setting up of a national online system for storing and reporting bird sightings would be useful.

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Author Biographies

Carol Inskipp, Himalayan Nature

Carol Inskipp has studied Nepal birds and their conservation since 1977. Co-authored books including: A guide to the birds of Nepal (1985, 1991); Birds of Nepal field guide (2000, 2016); State of Nepal’s Birds (2004, 2010); Important Bird Areas of Nepal (2005, in press). Currently working on an Eastern Himalayas bird guide.

Hem Sagar Baral, Zoological Society of London Charles Sturt University

Hem Baral has been involved in bird conservation for 30 years and holds a PhD in ornithology from the University of Amsterdam. He worked for BirdLife Nepal and Himalayan Nature before joining ZSL as its head in Nepal. He is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Tim Inskipp, None

Tim Inskipp first visited Nepal in 1970-71 and, later, visited many areas of the country. Co-authored A guide to the birds of Nepal in 1985 and Birds of Nepal in 2000. Co-authored Birds of the Indian subcontinent and currently preparing guides to the birds of the Eastern Himalayas and Bangladesh.

Ambika Prasad Khatiwada, National Trust for Nature Conservation

Ambika Khatiwada holds a M.Sc. degree in forestry. He joined the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in 2011 as a conservation officer and now leads NTNCs Bardia Conservation Program. He works on species research and conservation projects engaging local communities.

Monsoon Pokharel Khatiwada, Alumni Association for Conservation and Development

Monsoon Khatiwada is a MSc. graduate in Zoology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.  Monsoon is a life member of Alumni Association for Conservation and Development (AACD) and recently is working as a project officer for Chester zoo-UK/Green Governance Nepal -‘Living with Tigers’ project in Bardia National Park.

Laxman Prasad Poudyal, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal

Laxman Poudyal holds a MSc degree in Natural Resource Management and Rural Development. He is an enthusiast on bird research and conservation; conducted research on pheasants and other birds in Nepal. Currently working in the position of Ecologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Rajan Amin, Zoological Society of London

Rajan Amin is a senior wildlife biologist at Zoological Society of London with over 20 years of experience in African and Asian grassland and forest ecosystems and in developing long-term conservation projects for threatened species.


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