By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 26/11/2013 - 07:38
The number of bird species listed as Critically Endangered has reached an all-time high with the release of this year’s Red List for birds by BirdLife International.
White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi, a secretive and unobtrusive sub-Saharan bird, is the latest species to join the growing list of those on the very edge of extinction. Destruction and degradation of its high altitude wet grassland habitat, including wetland drainage, conversion for agriculture, water abstraction, overgrazing by livestock and cutting of marsh vegetation, have driven it to this precarious state. Urgent action is now needed in both Ethiopia and South Africa to better understand the species’ ecology and to address these threats and save it from extinction.