Welcome to the Top 10 Most Endangered Birds.
There are about 18,000 bird species spread around the length and breadth of the world with different habitats and distinct features. Sadly, many of these birds are battling extinction and will be lost to the world forever, if not conserved.
We have covered 10 of the most endangered birds in the world from the Kiwi to the Great Currasow, these birds need to be protected in order to preserve and sustain their species in the wild.
This isn’t your regular kiwi fruit, but a unique flightless bird that is critically endangered. The Kiwis are prevalent in New Zealand, with conservation efforts focused on one of its species, the A.Owenii. In the past, the species were so endangered that only five members were left. Thankfully, the New Zealand government intensified conservation efforts, and the bird species have risen in population to about 1, 600 members in the world.
The Island scientists employ a special technique to extend the progeny of the Kiwis. They collect Kiwi eggs and incubate them in the laboratory by replacing the original with artificial 3D printed eggs. The eggs are then returned to the mother when it’s time to hatch. However, not all Kiwi species are being successfully conserved, the rowi species for example is deemed “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They currently have about 400 members as the species are being threatened by climate change and deforestation.
Where To See Them: The National Kiwi Hatchery located at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua offers a guided tour of the kiwi incubation and Hatchery process for a fee.
Kakapo also called the Owl Parrot is another endangered bird on our most endangered birds list found in New Zealand. Like the Kiwi, it is also flightless. Efforts to conserve the Kakapo in New Zealand were activated over 125 years ago. Unfortunately, it didn’t birth much success. As of 2019, Kapako’s population was a mere 142. A breeding session was held in 2019 which gave rise to 24 chicks. While the New Zealand government is working hard to boost the birds’ population, the species are near extinction.
Where To See Them: MoaTreak team, a small New Zealand Tour group offers exclusive tours of the kapako birds and other birds. They have a special 21-day Kapako tour for the ultimate kapako viewing and experience.
3. Snowy Owl
Fans of the famous Harry Potter Series can recognize the snowy owl at first glance. But this bird is far from fictional as it exists in reality. However, it is critically endangered and classed “vulnerable”. The Snowy owl population is decreasing by the second, no thanks to their habitat. Found north of the 60° latitude line (the Arctic Region) they have to confront melting polar ice caps, which are too cold for comfort. Even the food they depend on such as mice is also thinning in population. As a result, there’s about an 85% decrease in their population since 2003.
Where To See Them: The snowy owl holds a special tourist attraction, attracting bird enthusiasts from far and wide. If you are just as fascinated and will love to satisfy your curiosity, you can schedule a tour with naturetravelbirding.com.
4. Fruit Dove
Native to Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, the fruit dove is an endangered bird species that are predicted to disappear off of the earth in no time. The population has faced numerous threats in recent years, causing a rapid decline in their numbers. Two of these core threats are invasive species (tree snakes that have taken over their habitat) and habitat loss. As the official bird of the Marianas Islands, there is a critical need to restore the fruit dove population. But will they survive extinction? That remains to be seen!.
Where To See Them: Interested in seeing the fruit dove before they become extinct (hopefully they don’t)? You can make a reservation with the Saint Louis Zoo, whose Bird House & Garden is home to endangered Mariana fruit doves.
5. California Condor
California Condors are a crowd-pleaser, unfortunately, they are on the brink of extinction. In fact, it once went extinct in the wild in 1987. This forced the US Department of Interior (DOI) to launch an intensive mission, capturing every single candor that was left in the wild. Only 26 surviving members were recorded at that time. Interestingly, the population has witnessed a meteoric increase to over 400. The DOI also gave the birds a home in Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks. However, there are as few as 44 condors left in the wild and are still trying to overcome extinction.
Where To See Them: The Ventana Wildlife Society offers exclusive condor tours on the second Sunday of each month. They also offer a full-day visit to the condor base camp.
6. Hooded Grebe
The hooded grebe is endemic to Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia. The spectacular birds like all the other birds on this list are threatened by extinction. The most dangerous threat to these bird species is predation by the American mink (N. vision) which was introduced into its habitat. The first year of the Mink’s reign saw a rapid decline in the Hooded Greby population (half of the population were exterminated). Following the population decline, the IUCN classed the birds as “critically endangered”.
Where To See Them: You can get an exclusive view of the Hooded Grebe by going on a tour with Sereima Nature Tours.
7. Northern Bald Ibis
The Northern Bald Ibis is commonly found along the coasts of Northern Africa and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. Reports highlight its impending extinction citing less than 500 surviving members. Their population is worse projected in the wilds of Syria, with as few as 5 individuals left. This earned them their reputation as the rarest birds in the Middle East. Threats affecting their survival include habitat loss, hunting, and trade.
Where To See Them: You can book a birding adventure with Rockjumper to see these rare birds of the Middle East.
8. Regent Honeyeater
The Regent Honeyeater originates from SE Australia. It gets its unique name from its favorite food source; the nectar of eucalyptus trees. Sadly, this intriguing bird has witnessed a rapid decline in its population since the 20th century. Habitat loss caused by global warming and human activity is the main reason for their dwindling population.
Where To See Them: Go on a guided tour with Moonlit Sanctuary, one of Australia’s best tour operators. They are particularly famous for their night tours.
9. African Grey Parrot
A particularly magnificent bird, the African Grey Parrot is one for the books. Unfortunately, it struggles with extinction. The wild population of these bird species has drastically declined by 95-99% in the last 20-25 years. Surprisingly, the decline isn’t caused by the typical habitat loss, rather, they fall victim to poachers who illegally trade them for their beautiful colors and intelligence.
Where To See Them: Book a trip with shades of grey parrots, Uganda, to see this highly-talked about intelligent parrots.
10. Great Curassow
Popularly known for its peculiar whistling call, the Great Curassow bird is as intriguing as it is rare. It is an endangered bird endemic to the rainforests of Ecuador, Mexico, and Columbia. Deforestation is largely to be blamed for the birds’ endangered status, which has caused a decline in their population since the 1980s. It is classed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN.
Where To See Them: If you’d love to see these most endangered birds, you can book a guided tour with Bird watching, Costa Rica.
These 10 most endangered birds and many others are valuable to biodiversity on earth yet risk extinction. We must support organizations that are working hard to conserve these bird species and their habitat. We don’t want to lose these birds to the cold hands of habitat loss, global warming, and man-made destructions!
Thank you for reading most endangered birds.