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Jerdon’s Courser

Rhinoptilus bitorquatus


For over 85 years, the Jerdon’s Courser was thought to be extinct until it was sensationally rediscovered in 1986.

For this reason, very little is known about the bird’s ecology. It is known to be nocturnal and feed on insects, which it hunts by sight. The population is tentatively estimated at 50 to 249 adults, but further surveys are needed to determine range, numbers and threats. The number of people inhabiting important areas of habitat for the Jerdon’s courser continues to grow. Settlers put demands on local natural resources by collecting wood, introducing grazing mammals and clearing habitat for farmland. Illegal trapping of ground birds has also been recorded in the region where it is known to occur. Suitable areas of habitat are disappearing and those that exist are severely fragmented. A species recovery plan was published in 2010, detailing priority conservation actions for the Jerdon’s courser, which have since received bolstering publications, though it desperately needs to be implemented to protect this critically endangered species.

  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Glareolidae
  • Population: 70-400
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 27cm

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.33 (?)
ED Score: 11.86 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


They are endemic to India, and found in the Eastern Ghats of Andra Pardesh.

Habitat and Ecology

They inhabit scrub forest of thorny and non-thorny plants, with bare patches of earth. They are insectivorous, hunting invertebrates by sight.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Livestock Mining Hunting Logging Work

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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