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Threatened & Extinct Species

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It is a sad fact that, in the last few hundred years man has been responsible for the extinction of a great many bird species - from the notorious but range restricted dodo to the millions of passenger pigeons that once blackened the skies of North America or the thousands of Great Auks eaten by sailors. The causes vary from the extinction of the St Stephen's Island Wren whose entire population was destroyed by one cat; the pet of a lighthosue keeper to the probably extirpation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker through habitat destruction. Even more sadly we do not seemed to have learned our lesson and habitat destruction continues along with our wasteful societies causing the vlimate of the whole world to change. We could cause an extinction event as great as that natural phenomena which wiped out the dinasaurs.

Those of us who care can not only help the efforts of conservationists to preserve the habitats of many endangered species; we can also change the way we live to reduce the pressure on the wild world whether it be population control or better use of scarce resources and more enlightened energy production.

Mere support of good causes is not enough - we all have to make sacrafices or many many more species will disappear and further impoverish our natural world.

Useful Reading

Extinct and Endangered Birds in the collections of The Natural History Museum

A.G. Knox & M.P. Walters. 292 pages.

Extinct Birds

(Hardcover) by Errol Fuller See: http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~design.machine-tanya/abird.htm

Extinct Birds of New Zealand

Alan Tennyson 179 pages, colour and b&w illus. Te Papa Press

ISBN: 0909010218

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Facing Extinction: The World's Rarest Birds and the Race to Save Them

By Paul Donald, Nigel Collar, Stuart Marsden & Deborah J Pain | 312 pages | colour photographs and artworks | Hardcover | 2010 | £44.99

ISBN: 9781408189665

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Prodigious Birds

Moas and Moa Hunting in New Zealand A Anderson 280 pages, 40 b/w photos, 20 illus, 20 tabs. Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521543967

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Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo

by Clara Pinto-Correia Hardcover 216 pages (1 February, 2003) Springer-Verlag New York Inc. See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0387988769

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Spix's Macaw: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird

by Tony Juniper Hardcover 304 pages (2 September, 2002) Fourth Estate

ISBN: 1841156507

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The Black Robin : Saving the World's Most Endangered Bird

by David Butler, Don Merton - OUP 1993

ISBN: 0195582608

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The History of British Birds

by Derek Yalden and Umberto Albarella | Softcover | 2009 | 263 Pages | £24.95 | [Hardcover: ISBN 9780199217519] See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9780199581160

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The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric Life of New Zealand (Life of the Past S.)

by Trevor Worthy, Richard Holdaway, Rod Morris Hardcover 592 pages (March 2002) Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253340349

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The Passenger Pigeon

By Errol Fuller | 177 pages | colour & black & white photos | colour & black & white illustrations | Princeton University Press | 2014 |

ISBN: 9780691162959

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The Silent Sky: The Incredible Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon

by Allan Eckert 2000

ISBN: 0595089631

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The Spotted Owl (Endangered in America)

by Robrt,Alvin Silverste Virginia - Millbrook Press 1994

ISBN: 1562944150

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Who Killed the Great Auk?

Jeremy Gaskell - OUP 2000

ISBN: 0198564783

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Useful Information

List of References on Endangered, Threatened, and Recently Extinct Birds



Alliance for Zero Extinction


The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), a global initiative of biodiversity conservation organizations, aims to prevent extinctions by identifying and safeguarding key sites where species are in imminent danger of disappearing. The goal of the Alliance is to create a front line of defense against extinction by eliminating threats and restoring habitat to allow species populations to rebound.

BirdLife International


BirdLife International is a global Partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife Partners operate in over one hundred countries and territories worldwide. Learn more in National Partners…

EDGE - Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered


The EDGE of Existence programme highlights and conserves one-of–a-kind species that are on the verge of extinction...

Endangered Birds


…While New Zealand has the highest percentage of endangered birds in the world, they are not the only country to suffer a sharp decline in their native bird populations…

The World's Rarest Birds

Facebook Page

This beautifully illustrated book vividly depicts the most threatened birds on Earth. It provides up-to-date information from BirdLife International on the threats each species faces, and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 590 bird species are classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered, or now only exist in captivity.



WildAid's mission is to decimate the illegal wildlife trade within our lifetimes…

Other Links



Cloning of extinct Huia


The project began when students at the Hastings Boys High School in New Zealand wondered if their school emblem, the extinct Huia, could be revived…

Early Birds


Mini articles on some of the birds found in the fossil record from Archaeopteryx to Ichthyornis etc…

Extinct Birds


A growing wiki on extinct birds…

Hawai'i's Endangered Birds


Annotated list

Hawai'i's Extinct Species


Another sadly long list…

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Campephilus principalis


The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is the second-largest woodpecker in the world, slightly smaller than the closely related Imperial Woodpecker (C. imperialis) of western Mexico, another rare species which is very likely to be extinct. It measures from 48 to 53 cm (19 to 21 in) in length and 450 to 570 g (1.0 to 1.25 lb) in weight, with short legs and feet ending in large, curved claws…

List of Extinct Birds in New Zealand


A sadly long list!



All you ever wanted to know about…

More birds slipping towards extinction


BirdLife International's annual evaluation of how the world’s bird species are faring shows that the total number considered to be threatened with extinction is now 1,212, which when combined with the number of near threatened species gives a total of exactly 2,000 species in trouble – more than a fifth of the planet’s remaining 9,775 species. Of the species currently in trouble, 179 are now categorised as Critically Endangered, the highest level of threat…

Tragedy of the Dodo


Photographers & Artists

Extinct Birds Photographs


Stock Photography from Stockpix.com - mostly museum exhibits etc…