The Northern Bobwhite has a wonderful subspecies called the Masked Bobwhite, Colinus virginianus ridgwayi. It has been extinct or close to it in the wild primarily caused by loss of breeding habitat. A great deal of work has been done to try to re-establish wild populations using birds raised in captivity. One of the target locations for this has been the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) in southern Arizona. There has been no conclusive success to this point.
These pictures are of captive birds kept in The Desert Museum aviary.
Bird species are suffering around the world, but species confined to islands have been in particular peril. They often have small populations making them vulnerable to local dangers. Often predators are introduced for which they have developed no defenses. Hawaii for example has lost at least 9 species in the last 200 years with more in great peril.
Guam has also suffered losses and the Guam Rail was extirpated on the island in the late 1980′s. It has survived in breeding programs at some zoos, where the above image was taken. There has also been an attempt at introducing on the island of Rota but this has not necessarily been successful.
The Marbled Duck or Teal, Marmaronetta angustirostris, is a small grayish-brown duck with a dark eye patch. Female is similar but smaller.
It breeds in isolated ranges around the Mediterranean and western and southern Asia. It winters in more widespread area.
Marbled Teal Range Map
Birdlife International rates it as Vulnerable based on a rapid decline in the wintering populations. There is a possibility that they have re-located their wintering range rather than an actual decline.
The Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis) is a distinct looking bird with its reddish chestnut face and neck, white patch on head and flanks on otherwise dark appearance. The sexes are similar. There are an estimated 35,000 birds, a number in decline.
It breeds in the high Arctic of Russia and winters in locations ranging to Greece.
Red-breasted Goose Range (Creative Commons Image)
Birdlife International has recently downgraded this species to Endangered because “This species has a moderately small population which appears to have declined rapidly over a short time period. The reasons for this decline are largely unknown. Small populations of other Arctic breeding geese have shown dramatic population fluctuations and this may prove to be the case for this species. However, the species is precautionarily listed as Endangered.”
Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri) is a white-eyed diving duck from Asia. The male has a dark green head, brown body with light flanks and undertail. The female has a brown head with a dark eye and a distinctive chestnut area behind the bill. There are less than 5,000 birds worldwide and it is declining.
This species breeds in southern Russia and northeast China. It winters in southeast Asia
Baer's Pochard Range (Creative Commons Image)
This species has undergone a rapid decline and is classified as Endangered. Birdlife International explains “This species has been uplisted to Endangered owing to an apparant accelleration in the rate of its decline, as measured by numbers on the wintering grounds. It is now absent or occurs in greatly reduced numbers over much of its former wintering grounds and is common nowhere. It is thought that hunting and wetland destruction are the key reasons for its decline.”