Conserving the Critically Endangered White-bellied heron
Location: India, Myanmar, China & Bhutan.
Synchronicity Earth is building an initiative to help stabilise and increase numbers of the Critically Endangered White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis) throughout its range via a coordinated and collaborative conservation response.
The White-bellied Heron is the most threatened and second largest heron species in the world. It is categorised as Critically Endangered by The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is additionally classed as one of the world’s 100 most threatened birds by BirdLife; one of the top 100 most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) bird species by the Zoological Society of London; and a priority species for the Asian Species Action Partnership – a collaborative body established to tackle the growing Southeast Asian species crisis.
The plight of the White-bellied Heron was first brought to our attention by a number of leading conservationists. Our research into the damaging impacts of large-scale dams highlighted that threats against the species were growing.
In response, we began to explore the problems facing the species more fully, carrying out a thorough due diligence of the organisations working on its protection. Our aim was to clarify where we could most effectively add value in terms of funding and support.
Through consultation and research, it became apparent that there was a need for a bigger and more coordinated response to the demise of the species. Synchronicity Earth has created a partnership between range-state organisations in India, Bhutan and Myanmar, as well BirdLife International, experts in China and the IUCN’s species conservation planning specialist. The partnership has been established to conduct a species review and carry out a comprehensive species conservation-planning workshop.
This is the first step in giving the White-bellied Heron a chance of survival. The workshop will take place in December 2014, and one of the outcomes will be an implementable species conservation strategy, which will enable more targeted conservation action toward set (achievable and measurable) objectives and actions. We hope to increase action and funding for this species and its important wetland and forest habitat.
For more information about this project please check out the new website for the 'White-bellied Heron Working Group'.