BY TPN/ LUSA, IN NEWS · 31-03-2014 08:41:00
The estrelinha de Santa Maria, Europe’s smallest bird, is at risk of extinction due to the deterioration and loss of its natural habitat in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores, José Andrade Melo, of the Friends of Santa Maria Heritage Club, was reported as telling the Lusa News Agency.
The Estrelinha de Santa Maria, or to give it its scientific name ‘Regulus regulus sanctae-mariae’, survives in a few areas of the Azorean island of Santa Maria in areas of subtropical humid laurel forests.
There, the Estrelinha finds its diet of insects, worms and spiders that enables it to grow up to 9 cm in length and with a wingspan of between 12 and 14 cm.
“The fact that the bird is confined to such a small space in territorial terms, that is the island of Santa Maria, in itself, already deserves a special conservation statute with the political and scientific obligation to come up with a preservation plan,” said Andrade Melo.
Instead, the loss of forest on the island was jeopardising the survival of the species.
“It is the very National Institute of Nature Conservation and Biodiversity that slaps the estrelinha with the statute of at risk of extinction,” said the NGO coordinator.