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State of the World's Birds
least 140 bird species are believed to have become extinct since 1500.
Avian extinctions are continuing, with 19 species lost in the last
quarter of the twentieth century and three more known or suspected to
have gone extinct since 2000. The rate of extinctions on continents
appears to be increasing, principally as a result of extensive and
expanding habitat destruction.
Number of bird species extinctions per 25 years, by continents and islands
include bird species classified as Extinct, Extinct in the Wild,
Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) and Critically Endangered
(Possibly Extinct in the Wild). Analysis of data held in BirdLife’s
World Bird Database (2008).
Extinctions have probably been better documented for birds than any other group of animals. In total, 140 bird species have been classified as extinct since 1500. This excludes five species
that have gone extinct in the wild, but that still have populations
remaining in captivity. A number of other species currently categorised
as Critically Endangered have probably gone extinct too, but cannot be
designated as such until we are certain (Butchart et al. 2006). A total of 17 such species are categorised as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) and one as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild). Thus, a total of 163 bird species may have been lost in the last 500 years.
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