Jerdon's Courser, Rhinoptilus bitorquatus, is listed as ‘Critically Endangered‘ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The single, small and declining population of this poorly known long-legged wading bird can only be found in south-eastern India in rolling scrub forest. It is a largely nocturnal species, and is extremely rarely seen.
There are thought to be between 50 and 250 Jerdon‘s Coursers left in the wild. Although relatively little is known about this species, its habitat is under increasing pressure from disturbance and fragmentation. Recent relocation of human populations may pose a serious threat to the remaining habitat and to the birds themselves.
Further research is needed to understand the behaviour, range and potential threats to Jerdon‘s Courser, but it is so elusive that researchers have difficulty finding birds to study. Its habitat is in a protected area, and lobbying against quarrying and mining activities that threaten existing habitat have proved successful.