October 10, 2008

Birds At Risk Indicate Government Inaction

The decline numbers of birds around the word is an indication that governments are at fault for failing to keep promises to reduce damage to nature by 2010, an international report announced on Thursday.

Escalating human populations and the destruction of forests for farming and biofuels are destroying natural habitation. This research is from a study conducted by Birdlife International.

Even ordinary birds, like doves or skylarks, are growing scarcer in a disturbing indication of the destruction of nature. Birds are the most completely researched wildlife creature in the world and are an environmental measurement for change.

"Bird species are slipping faster than ever towards extinction," according to Birdlife's "State of the World's Birds" report at an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) congress in Spain.

In May, Birdlife International's statistics for an IUCN "Red List" of endangered species illustrated that one in eight, or 1,226 of almost 10,000 bird species, are in danger of becoming extinct with recent problems, such as the climate change issue.

The birds' decline demonstrated that governments are not living up to an obligation made at the U.N. Earth Summit in 2002 to accomplish a momentous decrease in the rate of loss of a variety of animals and plants by 2010, the report stated.

"With two years to go, birds are showing that we are falling far short of the target, and that, far from slowing down, the rate of biodiversity loss is still accelerating," it said.

Alison Stattersfield, who is the head of science for Birdlife and lead author of the report, said, "birds are a good indicator for the wider environment because we have such long records."

"People notice that there aren't so many birds around, even ones that are common," she added.

Amateur birdwatchers have assisted researchers produce accurate records more than for other creatures.

Stattersfield said the "Red List" has followed and tracked birds since 1988. Ever since then, 225 species have been added to the list as being greatly threatened, contrasting the 17 whose status has improved.

Since 2000, three species were under the threat of becoming extinct: Spix's macaw in Brazil, the Hawaiian crow and the poo-uli, also located in Hawaii.

Amongst bird families, 82 percent of albatrosses are in danger, 60 percent of cranes, 27 percent of parrots, 23 percent of pheasants and 20 percent of pigeons. Large birds that do not generate many eggs are most at risk.


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