Biodiversity conservation works… but more is needed
Conservation efforts have slowed the rate that species are slipping towards extinction, argues a paper published online today in Conservation Biology by scientists from BirdLife International and Cambridge University. Direct conservation action has saved 16 bird species from extinction since 1994 and has substantially slowed the rate of population decline for an additional 33 Critically Endangered bird species. …
The Endangered Norfolk Island Parakeet Cyanoramphus cookii is an example of an extinction averted. Forest clearance had reduced habitat upon which the birds relied, and competition with other birds and predation by rats had taken a severe toll. By 1994 the global population of this colourful bird was estimated to be 32-37 birds, including just four breeding females, all found on the tiny Norfolk Island (Australia). Nest site protection, a captive breeding programme and control of predators resulted in the population growing to between 200 and 300 individuals within ten years.