A Power Struggle

Of birds, birdies and biryanis

Last year, Bird Life International confirmed the extinction of 8 species of birds, the first in this decade. They include the Spix Macaw (of the Rio fame), Cryptic Treecreeper, Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, Black-faced Honeycreeper, Glaucous Macaw, Pernambuco Pygmy Owl, Javan Lapwing and the New Caledonian Lorikeet. The first 4 were designated Extinct in the Wild and the rest as Possibly Extinct.

The interesting point to note in their report is that, unlike in the past, when most extinctions have happened in islands due to hunting or the introduction of an invasive species, these have occurred over continents and have largely been driven by habitat destruction by humans. That’s a worrying trend – we humans and our actions are now starting to threaten the survival of several species. In fact, it is estimated, that over one-eight of all bird species, globally, are extremely vulnerable to extinction over the next few decades.


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