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: Biodiversity in the Mediterranean is threatened by alien species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Avian expert warns migratory birds are facing annihilation

Sep 25, 2014

(Phys.org) —Millions of migratory birds that fly tens of thousands of kilometres between their homes in Australia and Siberia are facing annihilation as development destroys the vital feeding grounds they rely on during ...

Rats no longer rule

Sep 10, 2014

The University of Auckland is holding a celebration to mark 50 years since the first confirmed island rodent eradication in 1964, an effort that helped inspire a whole new generation of scientists and conservationists.

Recommended for you

World's first microbe 'zoo' opens in Amsterdam

3 hours ago

The world's first "interactive microbe zoo" opened in Amsterdam on Tuesday, shining new light on the tiny creatures that make up two-thirds of all living matter and are vital for our planet's future.

User comments : 0