Today’s factismal: About one out of every eight bird species is threatened with extinction.
If you’ve ever seen a flock of 200,000 chinstrap penguins sunning on an island (or smelled them), then it might be hard to imagine that they are in trouble. And you’d be right; these penguins are living large and doing well. But not all species of bird are doing as well as the chinstrap penguin.
Out of the 9,865 species of bird listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, some 1,227 are threatened with extinction. Some of bird populations, like the peregrine falcon and the bald eagle have made spectacular recoveries. But others, like the rufous scrubbird and the southern cassowary, continue to decline; soon they may follow the Carolina parakeet and dodo into extinction. The biggest threat to many of these species is the continued destruction of their habitats by urban growth and other land use changes. If the trend continues, soon there may be more endangered birds.
The first step to reversing this trend is learning more about birds. And the first step to doing that is heading over to BirdSleuth. It is a fun website filled with facts about birds and activities for citizen scientists and educators. If that sounds like fun, then wing on over to: