Humans triggered extinction of nearly 1000 bird species
Melbourne: Human colonisation of the remote Pacific islands may have spawned the global extinction of nearly 1,000 species of birds, according to a new analysis of fossil data.
Conservation ecologists explored the magnitude and pattern of one of the largest known human-caused extinction events, which occurred on remote Pacific islands between 3,500 to 700 years ago, when over-hunting and deforestation by humans wiped out thousands of non-perching landbird populations.
"Up until now, details about those catastrophic extinctions had remained elusive because the fossil record documenting extinct birds was patchy and incomplete on most islands," Richard Duncan from the University of Canberra said.
"What we have done is to fill the gaps by estimating how many extinct species remain to be discovered on these islands and hence what is the true magnitude and pattern of the extinction event," Duncan said in a statement.
Using a modelling approach that incorporates all the available information and addresses uncertainties in the fossil record, the researchers have quantified the loss of non-perching, or non-passerine, landbirds on 41 remote Pacific islands - which form part of the last habitable region of the Earth to be colonised by humans.
The findings reveal that nearly two-thirds of the landbird populations originally present on those islands vanished in the years between the arrival of the first humans and European colonisation.
Certain islands and bird species were particularly vulnerable to hunting and habitat destruction, these species suffered the most dramatic rates of extinction, Duncan and colleagues said.
"Large-bodied, flightless species, such as the moa in New Zealand and flightless rails on many Pacific islands, were particularly prone to extinction most likely because these birds were large and easy to hunt," Duncan said.
"The results illustrate the rapid and widespread impacts of first human colonisation on the survival of native species," he said.
The study was published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- No respite from heat for next three days: IMD
- Growing medical negligence in Delhi's AIIMS
- Police registers case after parachute-like objects were spotted over Mumbai airport
- DNA: Sikh man in New Zealand removed his turban to help injured kid
- One year of Modi govt: PM Modi addresses mega rally in Mathura Part-II
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon
- Kejriwal lists AAP govt's achievements of 100 days, slams Centre's 'dictatorial attitude'
- Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party changes its logo