Hunting, habitat disturbance, and deforestation are all activities that may change the natural adaptations of various bird species. This means the chance of extinction continues to grow, and in the process, birds would begin to look and act differently.
In an effort to bridge an understanding between the biodiversity crisis and the wide range of bird species, the Current Biology journal published an extensive study that examines variously distinctive avian species and their survivorship rates. As a whole, the global extinction crisis surpasses not only the loss of species but will also result in fewer specialized features that have driven birds’ life strategies and way of living, according to Dr. Emma Hughes, lead author of the study and UK ecologist at the University of Sheffield.
Hughes and her team cross-examined the physical traits of birds and the evolutionary variances between species, known as phylogenetic diversity, across nearly 8,500 bird species. This segued into a process of eliminating birds from most to least threatened.
One main example of this phenomenon includes the giant ibis species. Since 1994, the ibis species has faced critical endangerment. Today, fewer than 200 adult birds remain active in Southeast Asia, its native range.
A loss in bird species yields a ripple effect in the ecosystem, lowering the system’s productivity. All species would suffer, especially humans. Preserving endangered species is critical; however, what’s more, impactful is preventing the chances of erasure, which is achievable by respecting native bird habitats and reducing your carbon footprint.