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49% Of Global Bird Population on Decline, Nearly 22% in Danger: Study

At least 45% of extant bird species are exploited by humans, principally for pets (40%) and food (15%).

Climate Change
2 min read
49% Of Global Bird Population on Decline, Nearly 22% in Danger: Study
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Nearly 49% of the world's bird population is declining and close to 22% of it is now considered to be in danger. This diminution of the avian population has been attributed to a number of human-centric reasons.

There has been a rapid decline in a number of different bird species across the globe. Only 38% of the global bird population remains stable, while 6% show a steady increase and the other 6% have shown unknown trends.

This data has been revealed in the recent State of the World's Birds report 2022 by BirdLife International, which is published every four years.


12.8% Of the World’s Bird Population Now Threatened

Meanwhile, nearly 12.8% of the total global bird population has been marked as threatened, with 423 species coming under the endangered category, and 231 as critically endangered.

With another 1,002 species marked as 'near threatened,' this puts nearly 22% of the bird population in danger.

The sheer volume of the number of species under threat has clearly marked this population decline as a significant concern for conservation.

Bird populations in decline around the world.

Photo: BirdLife International

The report also states that the threat of extinction is rapidly escalating.

Approximately 187 bird species are known to have gone extinct since the 1500s. And now the world stands on the precipice of it's 6th mass extinction event.


Rising Temperatures are Leading to Diminution of the Avian Population

There have been a number of contributing factors that have led to this decline-- agricultural expansion, overconsumption, logging, fishing, invasive species etc. Climate change, however, continues to be one of the most significant contributors to biodiversity damage.

The global temperature is already 1.1 degree celsius higher than the pre-industrial levels. It is further predicted to rise by 1.5 degree Celsius by 2030. With the rapidly warming temperatures, birds are left with fewer options for survival.

Some species may move to higher altitudes in search of cooler temperatures, others may be forced to change the timing of migration events to match favorable climate conditions.

However, too many changes to the migration and breeding cycles of birds could severely affect relationships between predators, prey and competitors, and result in reduced survival.

Recent studies have highlighted that climate change has already resulted in some species changing their habits to adapt to climatic conditions.

The State of the World's Birds Report, 2022 is was curated via an analysis of data collected over the last five years to represent the current condition of bird population.

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