Bogor, West Java (ANTARA News) - The number of threatened bird species in Indonesia has increased from 122 in 2010 to 123 in 2011, according to an NGO activist.

Of the 123 threatened bird species, 18 were categorized as critically endangered, 31 endangered, and 74 vulnerable, Ria Saryanthi, the manager for conservation and development of Burung Indonesia, said here on Sunday.

"All of them are included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)," Ria stated.

Burung Indonesia is a non-government organization (NGO) engaged in wild bird preservation in Indonesia and has forced partnership with the UK-based Bird life International.

The status of Gosong Sula or Sula Megapode bird (megapodius bernsteinii) has worsened from (near threatened) to vulnerable, she said.

The bird population has decreased due to the degradation of their natural habitat, she added.

More than a half of the 18 critically endangered species are found in lowland rain forests on small islands such as Sangihe, Siau, Buru, Banggai (Sulawesi Island), Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores (Nusa Tenggara Islands), and Bali.

"Except Bali, all the small islands are in Wallacea area," Ria said.

Among the critically endangered species are Sariwang sangihe or Caerulean paradise-flycatcher (Eutrichomyias rowleyi), kacamata sangihe or Sangihe White-eye (Zosterops nehrkorni), anis-betet sangihe or Sangihe Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla sanghirensis), celepuk siau or Siau Scops Owl (Otus siaoensis) and tokhtor sumatera or Sumatran Ground Cuckoo (Carpococcyx viridis).

According to Ria, the bird population has declined significantly and their natural habitats have been damaged.

The lowland rain forest coverage and quality in Indonesia have affected the survival of birds, she said.

Over a half of Indonesia`s endangered bird species live in the forests.

The current problem is that not all Bird Important Regions (DPB) are within conservation areas, as some of them are found in production forests, she explained.

"Protection must be made by giving priority to DPB for birds," Ria said.

Indonesia is a mega bird diversity country. Of the world`s total 10,000 bird species, 1,594 are found in Indonesia, including 353 endemic species.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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