Threatened & Extinct Species

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Dead as a Dodo

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 lighthouse keeper, to the 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 climate of the whole world to change. We could cause an extinction event as great as that natural phenomena which wiped out the dinosaurs.

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 sacrifices or many many more species will disappear and further impoverish our natural world.

Useful Reading
  • A Message from Martha

    | (The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and Why it Still Matters) | By Mark Avery | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2015 | Paperback | 304 pages, no illustrations | ISBN: 9781472906274 Buy this book from
  • Birds in Jeopardy

    | (The Imperiled and Extinct Birds of the United States and Canada, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico) | by PR Ehrlich, DS Dobkin & D Wheye | Stanford University Press | 1992 | Paperback | 72 pages, 191 colour plates, 1 map | ISBN: 9780804719810 Buy this book from
  • Extinct Birds

    | By Julian P Hume | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2017 | Edition 2 | Hardback | 608 pages, 80 b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781472937445 Buy this book from
  • Extinct Birds Project

    | By Alberto Rey | Canadaway Press | 2018 | Paperback | 208 pages, 143 colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, and colour maps | ISBN: 9780997964417 Buy this book from
  • Extinct Birds of Hawai'i

    | By Michael Walther & Julian P Hume | Mutual Publishing | 2016 | Hardback | 238 pages, b/w photos, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781939487612 Buy this book from
  • Extinct Birds of New Zealand

    | By Alan Tennyson & Paul Martinson | Te Papa Press | 2006 | Hardback | 179 pages, colour & b&w illustrations | ISBN: 9780909010218 Buy this book from
  • Facing Extinction

    | (The World's Rarest Birds and the Race to Save Them) | By Paul Donald, Nigel Collar, Stuart Marsden & Deborah J Pain | T & AD Poyser Ltd (A & C Black) | 2013 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 320 pages | colour photographs & artworks | ISBN: 9781408189665 Buy this book from
  • Flock Together

    | (A Love Affair with Extinct Birds) | by BJ Hollars | University of Nebraska Press | 2017 | Hardback | 207 pages, 12 plates with 13 b/w photos and b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9780803296428 Buy this book from
  • John Gould's Extinct & Endangered Birds

    | By Sue Taylor & John Gould | National Library of Australia | 2012 | Hardback | 247 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780642277657 Buy this book from
  • Prodigious Birds

    | (Moas and Moa Hunting in New Zealand) | A Anderson | Cambridge University Press | 2003 | Paperback | 280 pages, 40 b/w photos, 20 illustrations, 20 tables | ISBN: 9780521543965 Buy this book from
  • Return of the Crazy Bird: The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo

    | (The Sad, Strange Tale of the Dodo Bird) | by Clara Pinto-Correia | Springer-Verlag | 2003 | Hardback | 216 pages | ISBN: 9780387988764 Buy this book from
  • Spix's Macaw

    | (The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird) | by Tony Juniper | Fourth Estate | 2003 | HPaperback | 304 pages | ISBN: 9781841156514 Buy this book from
  • The Black Robin

    | (Saving the World's Most Endangered Bird) | by David Butler & Don Merton | OUP | 1993 | Paperback | 294 pages, 50 col & 30 b/w photos, 10 line illustrations, 40 maps & figs | ISBN: 9780195582604 Buy this book from
  • The Dodo and its Kindred

    | (Or the History, Affinities, and Osteology of the Dodo, Solitaire, and Other Extinct Birds of the Islands Mauritius, Rodriguez, and Bourbon) | by Hugh Edwin Strickland & Alexander Gordon Melville | Cambridge University Press | 2015 | Paperback | 154 pages, 13 plates with b/w illustrations; 23 b/w illustrations, 1 b/w map | ISBN: 9781108078313 Buy this book from
  • The History of British Birds

    | by Derek Yalden & Umberto Albarella | OUP | 2009 | Paperback | 263 Pages | ISBN: 9780199581160 Buy this book from
  • The Lost Bird Project

    | By Todd McGrain | University Press of New England | 2015 | Hardback | ISBN: 9781611685664 Buy this book from
  • The Lost World of the Moa

    | (Prehistoric Life of New Zealand) | by Trevor Worthy & Richard Holdaway | Indiana University Press | 2002 | Hardback | 718 pages, Bw photos, illustrations, figs, maps | ISBN: 9780253340344 Buy this book from
  • The Passenger Pigeon

    | By Errol Fuller | Princeton University Press | 2014 | Hardback | 177 pages | colour & black & white photos | colour & black & white illustrations | ISBN: 9780691162959 Buy this book from
  • The Silent Sky

    | (The Incredible Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon) | by Allan Eckert | | 2000 | Paperback | ISBN: 9780595089635 Buy this book from
  • The Spotted Owl (Endangered in America)

    | by Alvin Silverstein | Millbrook Press Inc | 1994 | Hardback | ISBN: 9781562944155 Buy this book from
  • Who Killed the Great Auk?

    | By Jeremy Gaskell | OUP | 2000 | Hardback | 227 pages, Col and b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9780198564782 Buy this book from
Useful Information
  • List of endangered birds

    As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 469 endangered avian species.[1] 4.0% of all evaluated avian species are listed as endangered. No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.
  • List of recently extinct bird species

    This page refers only to birds that have gone extinct since 1500; for the list of birds known only from fossils, see List of fossil bird genera. For birds extinct in Late Quaternary prehistoric times and usually known from specimens not completely fossilized, see List of Late Quaternary prehistoric bird species.
  • Threatened Birds

    One in eight of the world’s bird species is deemed globally threatened and the fortunes of 222 Critically Endangered species are now so perilous that they are at risk of imminent extinction. Some of these species have not been sighted for many years and may already have succumbed. Despite this, there is cause for optimism. Conservation works. Around the world dedicated conservationists—many from within the BirdLife Partnership—have orchestrated spectacular recoveries, bringing numerous species back from the brink. The message is clear: given sufficient resources and political will, species can be saved and the loss of biodiversity reversed.
  • Alliance for Zero Extinction

    The Alliance for Zero Extinction works to identify and safeguard the most important sites for preventing global extinctions, those that have threatened species restricted to just a single site in the world.
  • 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...
  • 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

    WildAid's mission is to decimate the illegal wildlife trade within our lifetimes
Other Links
  • Archaeopteryx

  • Cloning of extinct Huia

    Cloning of extinct Huia bird approved
  • Early Birds

    Mini articles on some of the birds found in the fossil record from Archaeopteryx to Ichthyornis etc
  • Endangered Animals Around the World

    As the number of species facing extinction has risen to an estimated 40% of all the known organisms, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared that our planet is facing a biodiversity crisis.
  • Extinct Birds

    A growing wiki on extinct birds
  • 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!
  • Tragedy of the Dodo

    dodo n., an extinct flightless bird, once a native of the island of Mauritius. Discovered 1598, extinct by 1681.
Photographers & Artists
  • Extinct Birds Photographs

    Stock Photography from - mostly museum exhibits etc

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