Eight bird species are first confirmed avian extinctions this decade

Spix’s macaw, a brilliant blue species of Brazilian parrot that starred in the children’s animation Rio, has become extinct this century, according to a new assessment of endangered birds.

The macaw is one of eight species, including the poo-uli, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl, and the cryptic tree hunter, that can be added to the growing list of confirmed or highly likely extinctions, according to a new statistical analysis by BirdLife International.

The species gone extinct include Spix’s macaw, the Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, the cryptic tree hunter, the Pernambuco pygmy-owl, the poo-uli, or black-faced honeycreeper and the glaucous macaw.

Five of these new extinctions have occurred in South America and have been attributed by scientists to deforestation. Four out of the eight species declared extinct belong to Brazil.

BirdLife International (formerly the International Council for Bird Preservation) is a global partnership of conservation organizations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. It is the world’s largest partnership of conservation organizations, with over 120 partner organizations.

BirdLife International publishes a quarterly magazine, World Birdwatch, which contains recent news and authoritative articles about birds, their habitats, and their conservation around the world.

BirdLife International is the official Red List authority for birds, for the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The IBAs are “places of international significance for the conservation of birds and another biodiversity” and are “distinct areas amenable to practical conservation action,” according to BirdLife International.

Declaring a site as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area does not ensure that the site gets legal protection or becomes inaccessible to people. Instead BirdLife International encourages national and State governments to recognize the areas as sites of vital importance for conservation of wildlife and to empower local community-based conservation initiatives.

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