Satellite imagery paints picture of New Britain’s disappearing forest birds
Analyses of satellite images have revealed for the first time the extent of deforestation occurring on the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea, indicating that many more bird species are threatened with extinction than previously feared.
An eighth of lowland forest on the island –a stronghold for a number of birds found nowhere else on Earth- disappeared between 1989 and 2000, largely driven by a rapid and uncontrolled expansion in global demand for palm oil.
The findings, published in the journal Biological Conservation mean that the total number of threatened or ‘near threatened’ birds on the island will almost double to 21. …
The paper reports that hardest hit is the strikingly iridescent Bismarck Kingfisher Alcedo websteri –a specialist of lowland forest streams- which lost a fifth of its habitat during the ten year period.
Other birds to suffer include the Green-fronted Hanging-parrot Loriculus tener, which lost 18% of its habitat in the same period.
Southeast Asia’s largely unregulated and expanding palm oil industry –fuelled by increasing global demand- is highlighted as the main factor behind the extensive lowland forest loss on New Britain.
See also here.
- New bird species discovery in Cambodian capital (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Sarumisi Bamburaeng (penshawar.wordpress.com)
- Threatened Frogs Disappear with Forests: Oil Palms Endanger Amphibians in Malaysia (scienceworldreport.com)
- BirdLife and bird digital storytelling (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Your Supermarket is Selling Rainforest Destruction! Get the Facts On Palm Oil and the US Snack Food Industry. (understory.ran.org)
- New Red-headed, Loud Tailorbird Species Discovered in Cambodian Capital (hngn.com)