Date: November 10, 2016
Source: Duke University
A new Duke University-led study finds that more than 200 bird species in six rapidly developing regions are at risk of extinction despite not being included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
The study, published Nov. 9 in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, used remote sensing data to map recent land-use changes that are reducing suitable habitat for more than 600 bird species in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, Central America, the western Andes of Colombia, Sumatra, Madagascar and Southeast Asia.
Of the 600 species, only 108 are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as being at risk of extinction.
The new analysis, however, reveals that 210 of the species face accelerated risks of extinction and 189 of them should now be classified as threatened, based on the extent and pace of habitat loss documented by recent remote sensing.
"Good as it is, the Red List assessment process dates back 25 years and does not make use of advances in geospatial technologies," said Stuart L. Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. "We have powerful new tools at our fingertips, including vastly improved digital maps, regular global assessments of land use changes from satellite images, and maps showing which areas of the planet are protected by national parks."