Charismatic island dwellers saved from extinction
Conservation action saved 16 bird species from extinction between 1994 and 2004.
Although they represent just 1.3% of the world’s threatened birds, these successes demonstrate that, given political will and resources, we have the knowledge and tools to turn back the tide of extinction.
In their paper How many bird extinctions have we prevented? (Oryx, July 2006), BirdLife authors Stuart Butchart, Alison Stattersfield and Nigel Collar explain how they identified these 16 cases: the first time anyone has attempted to quantify the results of global conservation action in this way for any group of organisms.
The majority had populations of fewer than 100 birds in 1994, with only four known breeding pairs of Chatham Island Taiko Pterodroma magentae, just four breeding female Norfolk Island Green Parrots Cyanoramphus cookie, and five pairs of Mauritius Parakeet Psittacula eques (three of which had bred without success).
Ghostbuster Guy Dutson goes in search of long-lost birds from Norfolk Island’s past: here.
March 2012. A University of Kent-led team of scientists has gained new insight into a rare virus that is threatening to wipe out the Mauritius parakeet – one of the world’s most endangered species of parrot: here.