May 14, 2009

12 percent of bird species near extinction

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, based in Switzerland, said Thursday 12 percent of the world's bird species face extinction.

The conservation group said in a news release 1,227 species were tabbed as globally threatened with extinction in recent research conducted by BirdLife International.

Among them were 192 species that were deemed critically endangered.

It is extremely worrying that the number of critically endangered birds on the IUCN red List continues to increase, despite successful conservation initiatives around the world, said Simon Stuart, IUCN Species Survival Commission chairman.

IUCN officials said some bird species have made positive strides since 2008, including the Lear's Macaw in Brazil, the Chatham Petrel in New Zealand and the Mauritius Foly in the island nation of Mauritius. All three species moved from the critically endangered list in 2008 to the endangered list this year.