Bird Species With Rare Physical Traits Declining in Number, Thanks to Climate Change
The world is facing the exceptional loss of species with unique physical forms and structures
Extinction drive is occurring rapidly in distinct bird species with rare physical traits, a study has discovered. While climatic changes are highly responsible for this phenomenon, bird extinction is also occurring due to poaching, deforestation, and illegal trade, etc. If this decline continues, there would be a worse impact with the worldwide ecosystems facing irretrievable loss. The earth is increasingly threatened by the global mass extinction of species with rare physical forms and morphological traits.
The process of bird species loss is referred to as ‘morphological homogenization’ or ‘taxonomic homogenization.’ Some of these rare bird species are flamingos, hornbills, and spoon-billed sandpipers. The decline of these species will have adverse repercussions on the ecosystem as these distinct bird species are important for the environment and living off other animals.
For instance, these birds help in specialized ecological strategies such as spreading seeding, pollinating flowers, creating burrows, controlling pests, and making tree hollows. So, if they were to decline or go extinct, the entire ecosystem would go bizarre. According to the study, the major threats to distinct birds and diversity include the over-exploitation of various species and the degradation of natural habitats.
Emma Hughes, lead author of the newly published study has been working for many years and examining these birds’ broad morphological traits. She studied the worldwide distribution of rare bird species. For instance, vultures are helpful in the ecosystem to remove decaying carcasses. If these birds go extinct, there would be a higher risk of direct transmission of deadly infectious diseases. Meanwhile, the populations of opportunistic scavengers (like rats and dogs) will increase and spread plague and rabies.
Likewise, if other bird species go extinct, they would have a distinct impact on the ecosystem. However, the rare birds are declining at a greater rate. So, in a few years, there would be a major loss to the ecological strategies and functions.
Therefore, the authorities need to act fast and work on the continental-scale breeding bird surveys, improve conservation efforts, and enhance distribution. All these efforts are likely to conserve the dying bird species and help them survive the changing climatic changes and global warming impact.