From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Highlights of State of the World’s Birds Report
Mains level : Not Much
The State of the World’s Birds, an annual review of environmental resources has revealed that the population of 48% of the 10,994 surviving species of birds is declining.
State of the World’s Birds
- The report is published by the Manchester Metropolitan University.
- It gives an overview of the changes in the knowledge of avian biodiversity and the extent to which it is imperilled.
- The study draws from BirdLife International’s latest assessment of all birds for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
What are the key findings of the study?
- The study found that 5,245 or about 48% of the existing bird species worldwide are known or suspected to be undergoing population declines.
- While 4,295 or 39% of the species have stable trends, about 7% or 778 species have increasing population trends.
- It shows 1,481 or 13.5% species are currently threatened with global extinction.
Where the birds are threatened the most?
- The more threatened bird species (86.4%) are found in tropical than in temperate latitudes (31.7%).
- Such hotspots are concentrated in the tropical Andes, southeast Brazil, eastern Himalayas, eastern Madagascar, and Southeast Asian islands.
What is the importance of birds to ecosystems and culture?
- Birds contribute toward many ecosystem services that either directly or indirectly benefit humanity.
- These include provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services.
- The functional role of birds within ecosystems as pollinators, seed-dispersers, ecosystem engineers, scavengers and predators.
- They not only facilitate accrual and maintenance of biodiversity but also support human endeavours such as sustainable agriculture via pest control besides aiding other animals to multiply.
- For instance, coral reef fish productivity has been shown to increase as seabird colonies recovered following rat eradication in the Chagos archipelago.
- Wild birds and products derived from them are also economically important as food (meat, eggs).
What are the threats contributing to avian biodiversity loss?
- The study lists eight factors, topped by land cover and land-use change.
- The continued growth of human populations and of per capita rates of consumption lead directly to conversion and degradation of primary natural habitats.
- Deforestation has been driven by afforestation with plantations (often of non-native species) plus land abandonment in parts of the global North, with net loss in the tropics.
- The other factors are habitat fragmentation, degradation, hunting and trapping.
Try this PYQ from CSP 2020:
Q.With reference to India’s Biodiversity, Ceylon frogmouth, Coppersmith barbet, Gray-chinned minivet and White-throated redstart are
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