Avian apocalypse: 1 in 8 bird species risks extinction

Climate change is driving the world's bird species into dangerous territory. Along with other factors such as habitat loss, climate change has put 1 in 8 of the world's bird species in danger of extinction, according to BirdLife International and the IUCN, which yesterday released the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species for birds.

According to the organizations, 1,226 bird species are now considered at least threatened with extinction, and eight species have seen population drops large enough to uplisted to "Critically Endangered" status.

All told, 190 bird species are now considered "Critically Endangered" (including 15 considered "Possibly Extinct"), 363 are listed as "Endangered," and 669 as "Vulnerable."

Only two species -- the Marquesan Imperial-pigeon (Ducula galeata) and Little Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx owenii) have seen population increases in the last year, both due to conservation efforts. The Imperial-pigeon, once listed as "Critically Endangered" is still considered "Endangered," while the Kiwi has moved to from "Vulnerable" to "Near Threatened" on the list.

Well, at least there's some good news today…

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