DATE: September 11, 2018
SNIP: Grim news for the world’s raptors—an iconic group of birds consisting of hawks, falcons, kites, eagles, vultures and owls.
After analyzing the status of all 557 raptor species, biologists discovered that 18 percent of these birds are threatened with extinction and 52 percent have declining global populations, making them more threatened than all birds as a whole.
Comparatively, 40 percent of the world’s 11,000 bird species are in decline, according to an April report from BirdLife International.
Unfortunately, human activities are one of the main reasons behind the decline. Threats include habitat alteration or destruction, intentional killing, intentional and unintentional poisoning, electrocution and climate change, the research shows.
Although raptors are at the top of the food chain, they reproduce slower than many other birds, meaning they are “more sensitive to threats caused by humans and are more likely to go extinct,” Sarah Schulwitz, director of the American Kestrel Partnership at The Peregrine Fund, explained.