Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wetland aliens cause bird extinction

Date:
June 11, 2010
Source:
BIrdLife International
Summary:
BirdLife International has announced, in the 2010 IUCN Red List update for birds, the extinction of Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus. Restricted to a tiny area of east Madagascar, this species declined rapidly after carnivorous fish were introduced to the lakes in which it lived. This, along with the use of nylon gill-nets by fisherman which caught and drowned birds, has driven this species into the abyss.

Alaotra Grebe has been declared Extinct in the 2010 Red List update for birds
Credit: Copyright Chris Rose

BirdLife International has announced, in the 2010 IUCN Red List update for birds, the extinction of Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatus. Restricted to a tiny area of east Madagascar, this species declined rapidly after carnivorous fish were introduced to the lakes in which it lived. This, along with the use of nylon gill-nets by fisherman which caught and drowned birds, has driven this species into the abyss.

Related Articles


"No hope now remains for this species. It is another example of how human actions can have unforeseen consequences," said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife International's Director of Science, Policy and Information. "Invasive alien species have caused extinctions around the globe and remain one of the major threats to birds and other biodiversity."

Another wetland species suffering from the impacts of introduced aliens is Zapata Rail Cyanolimnas cerverai from Cuba. It has been uplisted to Critically Endangered and is under threat from introduced mongooses and exotic catfish. An extremely secretive marsh-dwelling species, the only nest ever found of this species was described by James Bond, a Caribbean ornithologist and the source for Ian Fleming's famous spy's name.

And it's not just aliens. Wetlands the world over, and the species found in them, are under increasing pressures.

In Asia and Australia, numbers of once common wader species such as Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris and Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis are dropping rapidly as a result of drainage and pollution of coastal wetlands. The destruction of inter-tidal mudflats at Saemangeum in South Korea, an important migratory stop-over site, correlated to a 20% decline in the world population of Great Knot. Huge flocks of these birds once visited northern Australia, but annual monitoring by scientists have found corresponding declines in numbers.

"Wetlands are fragile environments, easily disturbed or polluted, but essential not only for birds and other biodiversity but also for millions of people around the world as a source of water and food," said Dr Stuart Butchart, BirdLife's Global Research and Indicators Coordinator.

Turning the tide

However, the Red List update shows that we now know, more than ever, that conservation works. Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina has been downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered as a result of conservation work to restore natural vegetation on its island home. SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal) and RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) have worked together with others to turn around the fortunes of this species in what is a model for other projects.

"This is a clear example of conservation action succeeding in turning the tide for a highly threatened species," said Andy Symes, BirdLife's Global Species Programme Officer. "Where there is commitment and financing we can save species. We have the knowledge and will, but there needs to be better funding globally to address the loss of species."

In Colombia, Yellow-eared Parrot Ognorhynchus icterotis has also been the beneficiary of conservation through work by Fundaciσn ProAves. Protection of its nest sites and education programmes in local communities telling people about its uniqueness has lead to a steady increase in numbers, resulting in downlisting to Endangered.

"These successes show what is possible, and they point the way forward to what needs to be done by the global community," said Dr Butchart. "2010 is the International Year of biodiversity; world leaders failed to stem the decline of biodiversity. We cannot fail again."

"The monitoring of bird species is a key contribution to the monitoring of biodiversity worldwide. We must praise BirdLife International, their Partners and all ornithologists around the world for their massive effort to better understand the current extinction crisis and also their efforts to save some of the most threatened species," said Dr Jean-Christophe Vie, Deputy Head of IUCN's Species Programme.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BIrdLife International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BIrdLife International. "Wetland aliens cause bird extinction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611222501.htm>.
BIrdLife International. (2010, June 11). Wetland aliens cause bird extinction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611222501.htm
BIrdLife International. "Wetland aliens cause bird extinction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100611222501.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) — Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) — Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins