With the expansion of agriculture and logging, the rapid rate of deforestation has become a major killer of bird extinctions, causing the extinction of birds living on land to catch up with those living on islands. According to a study released recently by BirdLife International, eight species of birds around the world have become extinct or critically endangered in the last 10 years.
Initiated by BirdLife International, the world's largest bird conservation organization, researchers used statistics from the past analyzing 51 kinds of critically endangered birds. It turns out that eight species of birds are either mostly or near extinction. The three newly identified extinct birds in the study are Cichlocolaptes mazarbarnetti of Brazil, last identified in 2007; Philydor novaesi, a leaf collector from the state of Alagoas, last discovered in 2011 and the Melamprosops phaeosoma, which was last seen in 2004.
The 2011 animated movie Rio is a story about saving the blue macaws. In the story, Blu, a caged blue macaw, sets off on an adventure with the help of an ornithologist to find the only remaining wild female, the Jewel, in Brazil. But in the real world, Rio was late for 11 years. According to the study, the last wild blue macaw on earth disappeared in 2000, leaving only about 70 caged birds alive.
Over the centuries since records began, scientists have witnessed the extinction of 187 species of birds on earth, 90 percent of which live in islands and coastal areas. "Our results confirm that the wave of bird extinctions across continents is spreading, mainly due to habitat loss and degradation caused by unsustainable farming and logging." Dr Stuart Butchart, chief scientist at BirdLife International, said he hoped to use the research to call for people to participate in efforts to protect endangered species.
From 2001 to 2012, 17 million hectares of forest were lost in the amazon, which once provided habitat for extinct birds, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The Amazon Rainforest is at least half the size it was 400 years ago. Actually, birds are more vulnerable to habitat loss than other animals. Because they need to occupy specific ecological niches, hunt only specific prey and nest in specific trees. As long as their habitat is gone, they are gone.