12% of birds species on extinction ‘red list’

The number of bird species around the world threatened with extinction has risen this year to almost 200, according to a new report that blames agriculture, logging and invasive species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species says that 12% of all-known 1,227 bird species are in danger. Of this, 192 species are ‘critically endangered’, meaning they face a high risk of extinction in the wild, compared with 183 last year.

On the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species, which drew on evidence collected on the Galapogos, one of the islands’ species, the medium tree-finch, has been listed as critically endangered for the first time.

Simon Stuart, chairman of the IUCN’s species survival commission, says: ‘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.’

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Jez Bird, BirdLife’s global species programme officer, says: ‘It’s a greatly concerning situation. Once again, things are greatly deteriorating and we recognised more threatened and critically endangered birds than ever before.’

Threatened bird species in Britain include the red kite and the curlew. A report on native birds will be released by the RSPB later this month.

Birds now listed as critically endangered
1.    Flores hawk-eagle Spizaetus floris
2.    Nightingale reed-warbler Acrocephalus luscinius
3.    Marquesan kingfisher Todiramphus godeffroyi
4.    Crow honeyeater Gymnomyza aubryana Medium
5.    Medium tree-finch Camarhyncus pauper
6.    Palila Loxoides bailleui
7.    Sidamo lark Heteromirafra sidamoensis
8.    Gorgeted puffleg Eriocnemis isabellae
9.    Antioquia brush-finch Atlapetes blancae

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