Woolly Necked Stork #IUCN Near Threatened
During our trip to Bandipur National Park in Dec 2021, it was dusk and we were returning in our jeep at full speed to come out of the safari (to keep with the timings).
Suddenly, I saw a lifer at a small pond. Our safari driver was kind enough to stop for me to take 2 pictures. It was the Woolly Necked Stork!
I later got to know that the IUCN Conservation Status is "Near Threatened". Moreover, I understood that IUCN in association with a specialist group called "https://storkibisspoonbill.org/" are helping in the conservation of the Woolly Necked Stork for the past 4 years.
So, all is not dark in the world of conservation. Here is an article about how Mr. Gopi Sundar, who is now the leader of "https://storkibisspoonbill.org/" has worked immensely to increase the population of the Woolly Necked Stork and why its status should be downgraded from "Vulnerable" to "Near Threatened".
You can see Mr Gopi Sundar's detailed research paper here. He aptly names it "A species ignored" and why he proposes it to be "Near Threatened".
Older population estimates had suggested that fewer than 35,000 of these birds exist in South and Southeast Asia. But new data suggests their number could be 120,000-310,00 birds in South Asia alone. In fact, these storks are now one of the few species in the world that will have their Red List status improved from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘near-threatened’.