Thanks to climate change, habitat loss, pesticides and, most surprisingly, house pets, one third of North American bird species are at risk of going extinct, according to a bird conservation group.
The State of North America’s Birds report, the first of its kind, says that of the 1,000+ species that exist on this continent, 432 might just disappear forever. That means we can say goodbye to:
The Henslow’s Sparrow
(Ammodramus henslowii) pic.twitter.com/OVJjr9XUaQ
— everybird 3000 (@_everybird_) April 15, 2016
The northern gannet
Picture of a northern gannet bringing nest-building material to its mate, Bonaventure Island, Quebec pic.twitter.com/lnI74XvvbO
— Kent Palmer (@kepamer) May 15, 2016
The yellow rail
— MansfieldNewsJournal (@MansfieldNJ) September 3, 2014
and you know, 429 more.
Ugh, it’s just so sad to even think about these cuties disappearing, right? What’s even worse is that the report, made by North American Bird Conservation Initiative experts from Canada, U.S. and Mexico, says every type of species is at risk. Of the wetland birds, forest birds, aridland birds, grassland birds, tundra birds and coastal birds (we could go on, but we’re sure you get the picture), none are spared.
We don’t want to bum you out even more, but did you know that a billion birds have vanished from North America since 1970? How crazy is that?
OK, now that we’ve got all the super sad stuff out of the way, there is a silver lining. Experts say the trend can be reversed if everyone keeps bird conservation top of mind i.e. petitioning governments to grow conservation efforts. The report even lists a bunch of things you can do right at home.
Let’s save these birds, people!