Birds can be found from the North Pole to the South Pole. Unfortunately, some bird species can also be found in the list of the world’s 100 most endangered species, put together by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Zoological Society of London. Over 8,000 scientists helped determine which species made the list. Bird species take up a third of the list. These are just some of the most endangered bird species in the world.
Edward’s Pheasant (Lophura edwardsi)
This bird is so rare that it is unknown how many are left, if any. This large pheasant only lives in Vietnam. Although a captive breeding program is under way, the last bird seen in the wild was in 2000. This species may be extinct in the wild. The species was decimated during the Vietnam War, when they were hunted for food and their forest habitats were destroyed by Agent Orange.
Chinese Crested Tern (Sterna bernsteini)
This Asian long-winged white seabird with a black cap is critically endangered. The IUCN estimates that less than 50 adults survive. They are endangered because humans have destroyed their habitat and like to collect their eggs. This species does not do well in captivity and will become extinct in a few years.
White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis)
Also called the Imperial heron, there are only about 70 of these large, dark grey herons left in the world. They live only in the wetlands of the Himalayas in countries such as India, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh. They are becoming extinct due to habitat loss.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus)
Less than 100 breeding pairs survive, but this is not expected to save the species. This is a migratory water bird that lives part of the year in Russia and winters in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Their habitat has been mostly decimated by humans. The wetlands they need are being drained for human use. Even though they are severely endangered, they are still victims of illegal trapping.
Liben Lark (Heteromirafra sidamoensis)
Also called the Sidamo lark, this small brown songbird lives only in southern Ethiopia. Population estimates vary from 70 left to 256 birds left. They are going extinct because their habitat has been destroyed from overgrazing livestock and having savannahs cleared to make way for farms. Since Ethiopia is such a poor county, there is little incentive for Ethiopians to try and save the habit and the bird species.