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The Top 10 Most Endangered Bird Species in the World

Calling all bird lovers and enthusiasts to read the following post.
William Brown Jan 11, 2020

Prelude

We see birds every day up in the sky. For most they all look the same, but reality is that some of these species are headed towards extinction. One trick to attract birds is using the technique called; Pishing - using sound. Check out OuterAudio.com for suitable sound equipment and do some research of your own. This will ensure that you can view the birds.

1.) Giant Ibis

True to its name the Giant Ibis is approximately 40 inches long and stands 39 inches in height, with estimated weight of 9.3 pounds. It has been declared most endangered and evolutionarily distinctive bird in the world. The Giant Ibis is a lowland bird that resides in swamps, lakes, rivers, marshes and semi open forests.
It is estimated that just over one hundred breeding pairs are left in the world. The species decrease in population is attributed to relentless deforestation, hunting, droughts. Giant Ibis is labelled as critically endangered under the ‘Red List of Threatened Species' (IUCN), founded in 1964. The sightings include Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

2.) Vultures

You’d think vultures are the ultimate survivalists. It may surprise you that across Eurasia and Africa, many vultures are in free fall. Presently, two of the sixteen species of vultures are off the endangered list, while eight are classified critically endangered. Three are endangered and the rest near threatened.
Declines in population were first to occur in South Asia, which were around 95% between 1993 and 2000. These statistics were the result of poisoning from livestock contaminated with the veterinary drug diclofenac. Diclofenac is a painkiller for sick livestock, but poisonous to vultures.

3.) Grey Parrot

They can be found in pet shops and homes, a species so synonymous with the word “bird” that it’s frequently seen as the flag ship for children’s animal books. Grey parrots are friendly and very intelligent, and often viewed as a favourite option for bird owners. The problem with their popularity is it promotes illegal trade.

4.) Forest Owlet

The forest owlet may appear a cute little owl, but don’t be fooled, it wouldn’t be amusing if you got in its way while hunting. The species has large talons, which lets it pick up prey twice its own size. For over a century they were believed to be extinct, until rediscovered in 1997 in Maharashtra by Pamela Rasmussen.
The Forest owlet is now labelled as critically endangered, but is still a fraction of what it once was. Found in central India, the rediscovered bird remains endangered by the ongoing deforestation in the country.

The species is estimated to be 70 to 400 in size, but with climate change and continued human intervention, these numbers could plummet again.

5.) Atlantic Puffin

Around the North Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic Puffin can be found with its beautiful striped beak and shuffling walk, bearing colour resemblance to penguins. Unfortunately, climate change and overfishing have created food shortages, and the time of viewing a puffin loading a row of fish into its beak is now a rare sight.

6.) Black-legged Kittiwake

Sight of cliffs crowding with these sociable seabirds may become a thing of the past. An alarming statistic shows that since 2000, 96% population has plummeted on the Island of St Kilda in Scotland, the once heaving cliffs now lay barren. Humans are to blame, over fishing and climate change are the main causes for the rapid population drop.

7.) Snow Owl

Snow Owl is perhaps one of the most famous birds in the world, occurring throughout the Arctic tundra of the Northern Hemisphere. Sadly, it is experiencing a rapid decline in population due to climate change. Changes in snowmelt and snow cover have affected the availability of prey in addition to illegal hunting.

8.) Yellow-Breasted Bunting

Until not so long ago, the Yellow-breasted Bunting was one of Eurasia’s most plentiful bird species, seen across the Northern Hemisphere from Japan to Finland. However, the bird is now considered critically endangered, since 1980 its population has decreased by nearly 90%, whilst its range has thinned by 5000 kilometres.

9.) European Turtle-dove

European Turtle-dove was once abundant, having migrated from Sahel zone of Africa to Europe, Central Asia and Middle East. These large numbers have fallen due to hunting and habitat loss. Classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction’, these birds continue to decline in numbers across the world, especially in Western Europe.

10.) Philippine Eagle

Philippine Eagle’s population is dwindling. Though a big issue surrounding their conservation is that each breeding pair requires a range of up to 40 square kilometres to feed and rear their offspring. They are vulnerable to deforestation. As of today it is assumed that Philippine Eagle population stands at 180 to 500 mature adult eagles.

Where To Next?

These statistics may look discouraging for the world of birds, but it does not mean the end. Conservation does work and at least twenty species have been saved from extinction. State of the World’s Birds outlines the challenges we are likely to see in the future, but also sets out solutions.
The report distinguishes bird’s vital role as a warning sign for the health of the wider environment. With this knowledge, people should stand together and continue the fight for conservation with help from scientists and communities.