Though overall animal extinctions may be slowing, a new study has shown that bird extinctions are on the rise. According to Mother Nature Network, more than 270 bird species and subspecies have gone extinct in the last 500 years, and the rate of bird extinctions has been steadily rising in the last 50 years. Birds endemic to isolated islands have historically been the most vulnerable, but many of those species have already disappeared and now continental bird species are vanishing more quickly.
The two largest threats that lead to extinctions are invasive species and habitat loss. Conservation efforts have helped forestall some extinctions, but greater help is needed if more species losses are to be prevented.
Endangered Short-Tailed Albatross
Photo © Pete Leary / USFWS