Open-billed storks flock to Raiganj

As per records available the Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district, which attracted a record 68,000 birds in 2014, has the most Asian open-billed storks in the country.

  • The wildlife sanctuary at Raiganj is the only place in the country where one can find open-billed stork birds in such a high concentration.
  • Raiganj sanctuary is one of the 466 IBA (important birds and biodiversity sites) recognised by Birdlife International.


  • Asian openbill stork is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • Although resident within their range, they make long distance movements in response to weather and food availability.
  • The usual foraging habitats are inland wetlands and are only rarely seen along river banks and tidal flats.
  • Birds may move widely in response to habitat conditions.
  • They are classified as ‘Least concerned’ under IUCN list.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

  • It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education.

IUCN’s mission

Is to “influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.”

Founded October 1948, Fontainebleau, France
Type International organization
Focus Nature conservation, biodiversity

IUCN Red List

IUCN Red List.svg

  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.
    1. 1964 Red List of Threatened Plants
    2. 2006 release
    3. 2007 release
    4. 2008 release
  • 2012 release

    The Red List of 2012 was released 19 July 2012 at Rio+20 Earth Summit;

  • Nearly 2,000 species were added, with 4 species to the extinct list, 2 to the rediscovered list.
  • The IUCN assessed a total of 63,837 species which revealed 19,817 are threatened with extinction. With 3,947 described as “critically endangered” and 5,766 as “endangered”, while more than 10,000 species are listed as “vulnerable”. At threat are 41% of amphibian species, 33% of reef-building corals, 30% of conifers, 25% of mammals, and 13% of birds.
  • The IUCN Red List has listed 132 species of plants and animals from India as “Critically Endangered”

Sources: The Hindu,




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