In 2018, a report published in ‘State of the World’s Birds‘ in April found that about 40 percent of bird species population around the world are in decline. The detailed report is produced every five years by BirdLife International and it documents recent trends in bird population globally. As of 2018, 1,469 bird species worldwide were threatened with the risk of extinction. This report represents an increase of 40 percent since the first global assessment of endangered species in 1988.
Environmental studies conducted by several institutions have found that the world bird populations are rapidly declining. The study states that the major and most significant threats to biodiversity worldwide include rapid loss of natural habitats, overexploitation of numerous species, agricultural expansion, invasive species, and more. Climate change and global warming are emerging as major factors behind the declining populations of bird species.
A recent study on the decline of bird species conducted by Cornell University was published in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Alexandre Liege, the lead author of the study, states that the world is now witnessing the early signs of a new wave of mass extinctions of bird species. Bird biodiversity is the highest in tropical areas, and these areas have the highest number of endangered bird species.
According to the study, of the total bird population worldwide, almost 48 percent of the population is threatened and declining, while 39 percent of the population is stable. Only 6 bird species population are increasing, and the status of 7 percent of bird species is unknown.
The study by Cornell University shows the same results as the study conducted in 2019. The 2019 study states that world bird populations have rapidly declined, with 30 billion birds going extinct in the last 50 years in Canada and the United States.
Birds are vital as they act as an indication of the environment’s health. Losing bird biodiversity means losing biodiversity on a large scale and is a massive threat to human and planetary health.
Each time a study is conducted on world bird populations, researchers see more bird species at risk of extinction. The situation is continuously worsening. Addressing the factors behind declining bird populations is challenging and requires a drastic change to our lifestyles and the way we run our global economics.
The future of birds mainly depends on preventing the degradation of their habitats. The overexploitation of resources and human interference in the natural world needs to reduce.
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