Study: Birds going extinct at faster rate

Jul 05, 2006

U.S. scientists say human activities have caused some 500 bird species worldwide to become extinct since the year 1500 and the rate is rising.

The Duke University scientists said the 21st century extinction rates likely will accelerate to approximately 10 additional species per year unless societies take action to reverse the trend. Without the influence of humans, the expected extinction rate for birds would be roughly one species per century, according to Stuart Pimm, a professor at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences and one of the report's principal authors.

"What our study does, for the first time, is provide a well-justified and careful estimate of how much faster bird species are going extinct now than they did before humans began altering their environments," said Pimm. "Extinction rates for birds are hugely important, because people really care about birds," he said. "People enjoy them, and bird watching is a big industry. So we know the rates of bird extinctions better than the rates for other groups of species."

The report appears in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bad reputation of crows demystified

Jan 23, 2015

In literature, crows and ravens arebad omens and are associated with witches. Most people believe they steal, eat other birds' eggs and reduce the populations of other birds. But a new study, which has brought ...

Recommended for you

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

11 hours ago

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

Researchers develop new potato cultivar

14 hours ago

Dakota Ruby is the name of a new potato cultivar developed by the NDSU potato breeding project and released by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Dakota Ruby has bright red skin, stores well and is intended ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.