The 2007 IUCN Red List Category has uplisted the status of the White-bellied Herons from endangered to critically endangered species on basis of new information which indicates extremely small and rapidly declining population. In the near future, this decline is expected to increase due to the loss and degradation of lowland forest and wetlands, and through direct exploitation and disturbance.
This relegation calls for further strengthening of concerted conservation efforts from countries in which the herons are residing.
Currently, the herons are found in south-east Asia countries like Bhutan, India, Myanmar, China. Bhutan has an estimated 24 herons with more concentration along the Puntshgangchhu river basin in western part of Bhutan. Two new nests have been found along the river. As of now, there are six chicks in the two nests.
The IUCN – The world conservation Union has for more than four decades been assessing the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties and even selected subpopulations on a global scale in order to highlight taxa threatened with extinction, and therefore promote their conservation.
For further reading on Red List Category, download: IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (source: www.iucn.org)