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: PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

International team maps 'big bang' of bird evolution

Dec 11, 2014

The genomes of modern birds tell a story of how they emerged and evolved after the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and almost everything else 66 million years ago. That story is now coming to light, ...

Rising kiwi numbers may mask inbreeding depression

Dec 01, 2014

A boom in the number of little spotted kiwi appears to be a conservation success story, but new research by a Victoria University of Wellington graduand shows that, in some populations, the rapid growth could ...

Recommended for you

A vegetarian carnivorous plant

11 hours ago

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, ...

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.