According to a study conducted at Stanford University (California) and published in the Proccedings of National Academy of Sciences, by 2100, nearly 10% of the world’s birds are likely to become extinct. Of these, around 179 species currently at high risk are immediately extirpated.
The authors compiled data on 9,916 known bird species and proposed three scenarios, to extrapolate the trends observed since 1994 on the extinction problem.
The first scenario is based on the assumption that currently threatened species are disappearing at the rate currently observed. In this scenario, 10% of the species will gradually disappear.
The second scenario is based on the optimistic assumption that no more species should be listed as threatened; This means that only 15 species of birds will be extinct by 2100 (less than 6% of species will be extirpated).
Finally, the third scenario, which is the most pessimistic, is based on the assumption that the number of threatened species increases at a rate of 15 species every 10 years, which means that nearly one sixth of the species will become extinct. by then at the end of this century (equal to about 16% of extant species).
With such a prospect, in these scenarios, 7% -25% of birds will be threatened with extinction or living in captivity (captured).
Among the other determinants of extinction, the authors specify: the destruction of nests and nesting, the hunting of rare birds for sale to pet stores, the introduction of exotic predators (cats, rats, etc.) entering certain areas. areas and climate change can alter the habits of some species.
Next, the American team analyzed the impact of the decline in avian biodiversity on the environment, human health and the economy.
The team synthesized studies carried out on the different ecological roles of birds (pollination, work of vultures (scavengers), extermination of insects, etc.). For researchers, the consequences of a future extinction are just as tragic as the consequences linked to the preference for endemic species – which are hardly irreplaceable – vulnerable to side effects belonging to the particular ecosystem.