One in eight bird species is threatened with global extinction, and once widespread creatures such as the puffin, snowy owl and turtle dove are plummeting towards oblivion, according to the definitive study of global bird populations

The State of the World’s Birds, a five-year compendium of population data from the best-studied group of animals on the planet, reveals a biodiversity crisis driven by the expansion and intensification of agriculture.

In all, 74% of 1,469 globally threatened birds are affected primarily by farming. Logging, invasive species and hunting are the other main threats.

According to the report, at least 40% of bird species worldwide are in decline, with researchers blaming human activity for the losses.

After farming, logging is a key factor in declines of 50% of the most globally endangered species, followed by invasive species (39%), hunting and trapping (35%), climate change (33%) and residential and commercial development (28%).

The illegal killing of birds – usually because of traditional hunting – results in an estimated 12 to 38 million individual birds dying or being taken each year in the Mediterranean region alone.

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Turtle Dove


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