Nearly half of bird species in decline, moving faster to extinction: Report

Birds are a key indicator of the health of the planet, as they are responsive to environmental change and have important ecological functions.

However, it seems that some bird species are nearing extinction, a new report has claimed. And it has blamed human actions for such ecological destruction.

A report titled ‘State of the World’s Birds’, which is published every four years by BirdLife International, has said that 49 per cent of the bird species are on the decline, while one in eight are threatened with extinction and at least 187 species are confirmed or suspected to have gone extinct since 1500.

“One in eight bird species is threatened with extinction, and the status of the world’s birds continues to deteriorate: species are moving ever faster towards extinction,” said the report released this week.

The report bases its findings on the data of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In North America, the losses are profound. BirdLife International report states that there are now 2.9 billion fewer individual birds in the region than there were in 1970, an estimated drop of 29 per cent.

While European Union has seen a net loss of around 600 million birds, roughly 18 per cent since 1980.

The ecologists say that expansion and intensification of agriculture are putting pressure on 73 per cent of species, while logging, invasive species, exploitation of natural resources and climate breakdown are the other main threats.

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 “We have to stop these declines and start getting on track for recovery. Our future, as well as the world’s birds, depends on it. If we continue to unravel the fabric of life, we’re going to continue to place our own future at threat,” Dr Stuart Butchart, chief scientist at BirdLife International, said, according to the Guardian.

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In the 2018 report, BirdLife International found 40 per cent of bird species worldwide in decline.

“Birds are useful for telling us about the state of the planet. What they say is that nature is in poor condition, lots of species are in decline,” Butchart said.

(With inputs from agencies)