Dec 08, 2015 06:00 AM EST
The rare quetzal bird, long seen as the national bird of Guatemala, is now on the verge of extinction. Reports say that the beautiful bird's numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate. There are a range of threats that pose a danger to the rare bird, including poaching and habitat loss.In a report with Fox News Latino, the endemic bird of southern Mexico and Central America, is now on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss and poaching.
Sofia Solorzano Lujano, researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said that the resplendent quetzal faces a range of existential threats, such as illegal trafficking and habitat loss and forest destruction.
The researcher from the institution also said that the birds have fallen prey to predators such as the green toucan, squirrels, as well as other nocturnal mammals. These predators normally attack quetzal eggs or young chicks. The researcher also added that bigger prey, like falcons and eagles, prey on the adult quetzals.
Besides being natural prey, the quetzals are also under threat because of human activity. These beautiful birds are known all over the world for their beautiful and exquisite plummage. People hunt these birds to the brink of extinction for their feathers, which are used to make fashionable clothing items such as headbands and headdresses. These beautiful birds are also seen as exotic pets. Many are sold at black markets for top dollar prices.