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More bird species are threatened in the developing than the developed world

Bali Starling, © Anindya Chowdhury

The proportion of globally threatened bird species that are confined to the developing world (82% and 88%) is much greater than for Extinct species (59%), suggesting that threats to birds in the developing world are increasing with time relative to the developed world.


The numbers of bird species in each IUCN Red List category that are confined to the developing and developed worlds

Based on breeding distributions

Developing countries (as defined by FAO 2001) host the great majority of the world’s globally threatened bird species and those evaluated as Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2000; see figure). The proportion of species that are confined to the developing world is much greater for this group of species (82% and 88%) than for Extinct species (59%), suggesting that threats to birds in the developing world are increasing with time relative to the developed world. It may be that species in the developed world have already passed through an ‘extinction filter’: in other words, the most susceptible species have already been driven to extinction, leaving only the more resilient ones (Balmford 1996).



References

Balmford, A. (1996) Extinction filters and current resilience: the significance of past selection pressures for conservation biology. Trends Ecol. Evol. 11: 193–196.
 
BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
 
FAO (2001) FAOSTAT. FAO Statistical Databases. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization.

Acknowledgements

Figure and text kindly provided by Jörn Scharlemann and Rhys Green (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Conservation Biology Group, University of Cambridge, UK) and Andrew Balmford (University of Cambridge, UK).

Compiled 2004

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2004) More bird species are threatened in the developing than the developed world. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/194. Checked: 19/12/2014