Conservation group warns of more birds in danger of extinction

May 14th, 2009 - 7:42 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, May 14 (DPA) More of the world’s species of birds are threatened with extinction than ever before, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said Thursday.
The critically endangered list has increased by two birds since last year and the larger list of species threatened with extinction stood at 1,227, the IUCN said.

Action could help save them from disappearing, the organisation said. Simon Stuart, the head of the Swiss-based IUCN, said the growing list was “extremely worrying”.

Colombia’s Gorgeted Puffleg, which was only recently discovered, was one of the new species listed as critically endangered.

The Palila, a large finch, was also moved up to the critically endangered category. Its home territory, the Hawaiian islands, were considered by the IUCN to be the world’s “biggest extinction hotspot for birds”.

The IUCN, which conducted the study with Birdlife International, said rare birds were not the only animals threatened, noting that common species were becoming less common in some areas.

The organisation added however that “it’s not all doom and gloom”.

Conservation efforts in countries, including New Zealand and Mauritius, have helped species climb out of deep holes. There are several cases of birds that are now classified as endangered, rather than in the more critical category, thanks to those efforts.

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