The African continent is blessed with a combination of exotic birds, wildlife, and various other species. But as the human population is increasing, they are encroaching into the spaces of those exotic species making them endangered. Extinction is a natural process and with time, the rate of endangered bird species is on the rise across the world, especially in Africa. Globally, there are around 1,313 endangered bird species and within the last 500 years, 150 bird species have become extinct. Since the last decade, the list of Critically Endangered Species is on the rise, it rose from 189-197 to a whopping 381-389. In Africa, there are a host of endangered birds like the Gray Crowned-Crane, Cape Griffon Vulture, African Penguin, Ludwig’s Bustard, and Northern Bald Ibis among others. 

Gray Crowned-Crane

Gray crowned-crane

The African crane is an endangered bird species 

The beautiful African native, gray crowned-crane is known for its striking beauty across the world. The bird is widely available across the wetlands of Southern and Eastern Africa. But with time, the bird is becoming a rare sight as their numbers had dropped by 50% within the last two decades. It has become an endangered bird species in Africa owing to varied factors like the destruction of their habitats – the wetlands, illegal removal of the birds and their eggs for selling, and poaching. 

Scientific classification of Gray Crowned-Crane:

Kingdom:           Animalia

Phylum:              Chordata

Order:                 Gruiformes

Class:                  Aves

Family:               Gruidae

Genus:                 Balearica

Species:               B. regulorum

Scientific name: Balearica regulorum

Cape Griffon Vulture

Cape griffon vulture

An endangered African vulture 

Cape Griffon Vultures are creamy dark brown that catches the attention of the bird watchers. But the incredibly beautiful vultures are an endangered bird species in the African context due to scarcity of food. The ideal diet of the vultures is the carcass of other animals. The farmers often poison the carcass of domestic animals leading to a shortage of food. Again, if the vultures consume such prey, eventually they die and the vultures have medicinal values. Thus it is an effective way to hunt the bird and enlist as an endangered bird species in Africa. 

Scientific classification of Cape Griffon Vulture:

Kingdom:           Animalia

Phylum:             Chordata

Order:                 Accipitriformes

Class:                  Aves

Family:                Accipitridae

Genus:                 Gyps

Species:              G. coprotheres

Scientific name: Gyps coprotheres

African Penguin

If you imagine Penguin is only native to the Arctic regions, you are wrong! One can spot a Black-footed African penguin in the cooler southern region of the African continent across Namibia and South Africa. The sheer cuteness of the African Penguins is cut short by the intervention of various predators like the sharks and seals in the water bodies. Then there are domestic cats, mongooses, and genets who prey on the penguins and their chicks. The African penguins have become an endangered species due to human greed as well as spillage of oil in the water bodies due to shipwrecks or oil spills from the vessels.

African Penguin

African penguin is an endangered bird species 

Scientific classification of African Penguin:

Kingdom:          Animalia

Phylum:               Chordata

Class:                    Aves

Order:                   Sphenisciformes

Family:                 Spheniscidae

Genus:                  Spheniscus

Species:               S. demersus

Scientific name: Spheniscus demersus   

Ludwig’s Bustard

The swiftly flying Ludwig’s Bustard thrives across the western edge of South Africa, Southern Angola, and Namibia. The bird species have made it to the endangered list due to their flighty nature. Their mode of flight led to collisions with the power grids leading to higher casualties. In the same line, the construction of high rises across South Africa alongside, hunting and destruction of their habitats led to a drastic decrease in their numbers.  

Ludwig’s Bustard

Ludwig’s Bustard, an African endangered bird species 

Scientific classification of Ludwig’s Bustard:

Kingdom:          Animalia

Phylum:               Chordata

Class:                   Aves

Family:                Otididae

Order:                  Otidiformes

Genus:                 Neotis

Species:              N. ludwigii

Scientific name: Neotis ludwigii

Northern Bald Ibis

The strange but beautiful Northern Bald Ibis is listed as a critically endangered bird species in Africa. The numbers were around 3,000 in the 1930s across Europe but became extinct by the early 1990s. The same pattern is evident in the African scenario. The endangered bird species are driven by the loss of their habitat, poisoning, and hunting. The bird belongs to the highest risk of extinction leading to various conservation processes to protect the endangered bird species.  

Northern Bald Ibis

The endangered bird species is near to extinction in Africa 

Scientific classification of Northern Bald Ibis:

Kingdom:            Animalia

Phylum:               Chordata

Class:                   Aves

Order:                  Pelecaniformes

Genus:                Geronticus

Species:              G. eremita

Scientific name: Geronticus eremita

The list of the endangered bird species in Africa is just indicative and not exhaustive as more birds need the attention of conservationists. Endangered birds need a safe habitat to grow and fulfill the biological diversity of the African continent. 

By Shuvendu Modak


Tags: birds


  1. Arzoo

    Writer’s at Erakina are doing great… I appreciate Erakina for uploading such a informative content for making us aware about the nature…. Great work

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