CR
Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus



Taxonomy

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd; C2a(i) A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd; C2a(i); D1

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Critically Endangered A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
2016 Endangered A3cd+4cd
2012 Endangered A3cd+4cd
2008 Endangered A3c,d; A4c,d
2004 Endangered
2000 Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -
Distribution

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 520,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 1,520,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 356-1228, 730 medium estimated 2018
Population trend Decreasing poor estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 80-100 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 80-100 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.3 - - -

Population justification: The total population has been calculated from a recent and robust survey over most of the range which estimated 340 displaying males (95% CI 162–597, Dutta et al. 2018). This excluded any birds in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as the survey failed to locate any individuals (Dutta et al. 2018), despite this 38-57 individuals (maximum 19 males) have been reported from these states for the 2018/2019 period (Pinjarkar 2018, Mishra & Ghosh 2020). In addition, 6 males were present in Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, in 2017, another region unsurveyed in the recent survey led by Dutta et al. (2018). Summing these values and assuming an equal sex ratio (a conservative assumption, as there may be multiple females per displaying male) the population size is therefore estimated to be 356-1,228 mature individuals, with a best estimate of 730 mature individuals.
The methodology of the recent Dutta et al. (2018) survey was designed to be comparable with that of Sankaran (2000), who estimated 3,530 mature individuals in 1999 (Sankaran 2000, Collar et al. 2001). The population estimate in 1982 was 4,374 mature individuals (Collar et al. 1994). Assuming a linear rate of decline from the 1999 estimate (Collar [2021] indicates the rate is likely to be accelerating), the rate of population reduction over the past three generations (15.9 years) is equivalent to 89%, however, calculating an accelerating rate of decline by incorporating the 2008 estimate of 2,500 mature individuals (Dutta et al. 2013) results in an estimated 93% reduction over the past three generations. Both rate of declines indicate extinction within a few years, as noted by Collar (2021).
The remaining strongholds are thought to be Velavadar (Gujarat), with 96-115 displaying males where the population is concentrated in few sites at high density, and and Shokalyia-Bhinai (Rajasthan). In Rajasthan the population is dispersed across a large area at very low density where 110-136 males were thought to be present (Dutta et al. 2018), however, only 35-40 displaying males are counted annually since 2017 (S. Narwade in litt. 2021). 
Displaying males continue to be observed in Maharashtra, despite not being recorded during the 2018 survey (Dutta et al. 2018). 7-8 males and 20-22 females were reported from a conservation partnership with the Phasepardhi community (Pandharipande 2015, Pinjarkar 2018). In Madhya Pradesh, annual numbers reported by the Chief Conservator of Forests for 2015 to 2018 were 48, 39, 19 and 27, but only 11 were recorded in 2019 (Mishra & Ghosh 2020) and only 5 in 2020 (Tomar 2020): this population is in imminent danger of being lost.

Trend justification: The species is suspected to have declined at a extremely rapid rate over the past three generations based on published population numbers derived from coordinated surveys across the breeding areas. Based on population estimates published for 1982 of 4,734 mature individuals (Collar et al. 1994), for 1999 of 3,530 mature individuals (Sankaran 2000, Collar 2001), for 2008 of 2,500 individuals (Dutta et al. 2013) and 730 mature individuals in 2018 (Dutta et al. 2018, Pinjarkar 2018, Mishra & Ghosh 2020: see Population size), a fitted rate of reduction (as in Collar 2021) is equivalent to 93% over three generations, or 89% at a linear rate of reduction. While there is uncertainty over the accuracy of the population sizes estimated in each year due to accounting for undetected males, uncertainty over the population sex ratio and level of site fidelity in the species, it is abundantly clear from the assembled data that the species is undergoing a catastrophic rate of decline.

The decline is ascribed to the on-going loss and conversion of grassland habitats, but additional factors may be driving very low reproductive success and causing high rates of adult mortality (Dutta et al. 2018). Very little is known about mortality during the non-breeding season (Dutta et al. 2018).


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
India N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Possibly Extinct

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Pakistan Manchar Lake
Pakistan Bijnote Bustard Game Reserve (proposed)
India Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary
India Banni Grassland and Chhari Dhand
India Bhal area
India Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
India Naliya Grassland (Lala Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary)
India Rampura Grassland
India Velavadar National Park
India Gangapur Dam and grasslands
India Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary
India Ozar and adjoining grassland
India Kanha National Park
India Sailana Kharmor Sanctuary
India Sardarpur Wildlife Sanctuary
India Gawana Arain, Mangaliyawas, Ramsar, Goyal, Ratakot, Badar
India Sonkhaliya Closed Area
India Dudhwa National Park
Nepal Barandabhar forests and wetlands
Nepal Bardia National Park
Nepal Chitwan National Park
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
India Hesaraghatta Lake

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Unlikely to Return Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Scewed sex ratios, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Past Impact
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Canis familiaris Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Mikania micrantha Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Prosopis glandulosa Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Sypheotides indicus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/07/2022.