Bird extinction

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The extinct 'Dodo bird'

Since 1500, 150 species of birds have disappeared globally.[1] Within these birds that have vanished, 132 have been classified as ‘Extinct’ within the wild, and some populations surviving in captivity.[1] Although the reason for extinction can rarely be focused to a single cause, extinction most often occurs when new threats develop that are outside the evolutionary knowledge of species. The amount of extinctions per 25 years increased dramatically in the last quarter of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th century for oceanic and continental islands, but appears to have declined subsequently.[1] Historically, the majority of bird extinction have occurred on islands, particularly those in the pacific. These include countries such as Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Causes of bird extinction[edit]

Human activity is the greatest cause of bird extinction around the world. The top human causes of bird extinction involve; the increased human population, destruction of habitat, pollution, climate change and global warming.[2] Due to the increase in human population, humans are armed with more compelling destructive technology and invading within a variety of bird species natural habitats.[3]


As climate change is caused by a variety of activities. The effect that climate change has on bird extinction is immense. Due to the rapid changes in temperature and climate the bio diverse earth can not progress with these factors.[3] Severe weather conditions and long seasons as well as a chemical atmosphere within their surroundings makes it difficult for many species of birds to keep up with.[3]

Sea level rise may flood islands killing the birds and other animlas native to islands causing extinction


Each species of birds carries defense mechanisms like resistances and the ability to fight disease.[3] With the changing climate and atmosphere, many species are losing their ability to fight particular diseases. These bird species are becoming more susceptible to disease, which results to the downfall of extinction. The most common disease affecting birds is: Salmonellosis; Which is known from the Latin name of Salmonella. Infected birds pass bacteria in their fecal droppings. Other birds then become ill when they eat food contaminated by the droppings.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Loehle, Craig; Eschenbach, Willis (2012-01-01). "Historical bird and terrestrial mammal extinction rates and causes". Diversity and Distributions. 18 (1): 84–91. doi:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00856.x. ISSN 1472-4642. 
  2. ^ Diamond, J. M.; Ashmole, N. P.; Purves, P. E. (1989-11-06). "The Present, Past and Future of Human-Caused Extinctions [and Discussion]". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences. 325 (1228): 469–477. doi:10.1098/rstb.1989.0100. ISSN 0962-8436. PMID 2574887. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Extinction - Causes". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  4. ^ "Common Bird Parasites & Diseases". Mass Audubon. Retrieved 2016-05-17.