Eight species of bird including bright blue Brazilian parrot that starred in children's animation Rio are the first to go extinct this decade

Spix's macaw, a bright blue species of Brazilian parrot that starred in the children's animation film Rio, has become extinct in the wild. It joins seven other bird species declared extinct by a new analysis of endangered animals - making them the first avians to have died out this decade. Scientists blame deforestation for the losses, which include the poo-uli, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl and the cryptic treehunter. Most birds that die out are small-island species, making them vulnerable to hunting, but five of the eight extinctions have occurred in South America.

The Spix's macaw is one of eight bird species now deemed extinct following a new statistical analysis. The birds, which include the poo-uli, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl and the cryptic treehunter, are the first to die out this decade. They said the study highlighted an extinction crisis on larger continents caused by damage to the environment by humans.

Stuart Butchart, BirdLife International's chief scientist said, people think of extinctions and think of the dodo but our analysis shows that extinctions are continuing and accelerating today. Historically 90 per cent of bird extinctions have been small populations on remote islands. Our evidence shows there is a growing wave of extinctions washing over the continent driven by habitat loss from unsustainable agriculture, drainage and logging. The researchers examined 51 species judged 'critically endangered' on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) red list.

The Spix's macaw is a bright blue species of Brazilian parrot that starred in the children's animation film Rio. More than 26,000 of the world's species are now threatened, according to the list, leading scientists to warn that humans may be driving the planet's sixth big extinction event. 

According to the new analysis, eight species of bird can now be added to the growing list of confirmed or highly likely extinctions. Four of the extinctions took place in Brazil, including the Spix's macaw, which was traded in cages for 150 years before a trio of wild birds were found in 1985. Two of these were illegally captured, while attempts to breed the third failed.

The last known wild sighting was in 2000, though captive birds are now being used to breed for restoration programmes. Three other species, the poo-uli, the cryptic treehunter and the Alagoas foliage-gleane, may have disappeared forever, according to the analysis.

Post a Comment