Conservation Status

More than one-fifth of the wading birds and New World vultures are listed as Threatened or Endangered. Many of their problems come from loss of habitat. As the Earth's population grows, people take more and more of the wetlands where the wading birds once lived. They turn the wetlands into farms and cities. Wading birds also suffer greatly from polluted water, and in some parts of the world, they are still shot for food.

Many people, however, are doing what they can to help the birds. The last of the California condors were taken from the wild and bred in captivity—now they are gradually being released into the wild again. Although many birds are still in serious trouble, pollution and hunting laws now protect some of the threatened wading birds. Governments and conservation groups are also working to set aside protected areas for wading birds and New World vultures in many parts of the world.

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