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Birds in Indonesia: 1,605 Confirmed, 126 Threatened

Based on Burung Indonesia’s data, the number of bird species in Indonesia has increased from 1,598 in 2012 to 1,605 species in 2013. “There have been seven newly recorded species in the country in 2010-2012,” Jihad, Bird Conservation Officer of Burung Indonesia said. Based on several reports published during the period, the seven bird species which previously have never been recorded in the country were sighted on Indonesian islands.

The newly recorded species includes Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus which was sighted at Wetar Island, Heinroth’s Shearwater Puffinus heinrothi in Taliabu water, White-fronted Falconet Microhierax latifrons in East Kalimantan, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus in Sumatera, Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii in West Papua, Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius in Java, and Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni in East Kalimantan.

Jihad said that from all of the 1,605 bird species in Indonesia, 126 are currently threatened. They consist of 19 Critically Endangered species, 35 Endangered, and 72 Vulnerable species.

The overall number of Indonesia’s threatened bird species is the same as the previous record (2012 data). However, there are three species whose conservation status has increased and another three with decreased status. Milky Stork as well as White Cockatoo which previously listed as Vulnerable are now Endangered species, while the conservation status of Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush drastically increased from Near Threatened to Endangered.

Meanwhile, Victoria Crowned-pigeon has exit from the threatened zone, and got down from Vulnerable to Near Threatened status. Similarly, Salvadori’s Fig-parrot got down from Vulnerable status to Least Concern. Meanwhile, Kofiau Paradise-kingfisher is still in the threatened zone though it has got down one level from Endangered status to Vulnerable.

Based on BirdLife International data, with 1,605 bird species Indonesia sits on the big 5 position in terms of avifauna diversity after Colombia, Peru, and Brazil, and is in tight competition with Ecuador. Unfortunately, Indonesia also sits on the top 3 regarding the number of threatened bird species after Brazil and Peru. However, with 380 endemic bird species, Indonesia surpasses any other countries in the world in terms of uniqueness or endemicity.***