People, Environment

13 Bird Species Declared Extinct

13 Bird Species Declared Extinct13 Bird Species Declared Extinct

More than 740 newly recognized bird species were added to the International Union of Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species earlier this week, including 13 species that were identified after they ceased to exist. All 13 have been declared extinct.

The list of extinct species includes the Bermuda towhee, Reunion fody, Raiatea starling (also known as the “mysterious bird of Ulieta”), O'ahu 'akepa, Laysan honeycreeper, Mangareva reed warbler, Aguijan reed warbler, least vermillion flycatcher, Foster’s reed-warbler, Marianne white-eye, Kauia Akialoa, Lanai Akialoa and the Pagan reed warbler.

According to IUCN, all 13 of these lost bird species—most of which were previously thought to be subspecies—lived on islands and were likely wiped out by invasive species such as rats and cats, Scientific American reported.

Most of them probably disappeared a long time ago and had never been adequately classified on the IUCN Red List until now. Several of the species, however, apparently disappeared within the past 50 years.  The Pagan reed-warbler, for example, was last seen in the 1970s on the Mariana Archipelago Island for which it is named. Another Mariana species, the Aguijan reed-warbler, disappeared before 1995.


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