Wild Things: Endangered Species of Birds
There are approximately 403 endangered bird species in the world, including the Whooping Crane, Mexican Spotted Owl, Puerto Rican Parrot, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, California Condor and the Wood Stork.
There are approximately 403 endangered birds in the world today. As the human population continues to grow, more room is needed to house people and more food is needed to feed them. This means that precious bird habitat is destroyed everyday. Despite increased government protection, many bird species are still at dangerously low numbers. Check out the list of endangered birds that Kidzworld has put together.
When the Whooping Crane population fell to about 16 birds in the late 1930's, the American government began efforts to help save the bird from extinction. Their breeding grounds are found in the Wood Buffalo National Park in the North West Territories of Canada. In the fall, Whooping Cranes head to Texas and stay for the winter. Both these habitat areas are protected, but many surrounding areas are still used for commercial and industrial purposes and could endanger the cranes. There are approximately 320 Whooping Cranes left in the world, some of which are found in captivity.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is still listed as an endangered bird, despite being declared extinct in 1997. Brief sightings were reported from Cuba in the early 1980's, but no solid evidence that the birds still exist has been collected since then. No one has actually seen the bird for more than 30 years in the United States. A man in Louisiana did report seeing an Ivory-billed Woodpecker in 1997. A month long search was conducted in January 2002 in the bayous of Louisiana by top scientists. No evidence of the bird was found, but many still believe the bird is somewhere out there.
Puerto Rican Parrot
The Puerto Rican Parrot has been on the endangered species list since 1967. When the Spanish arrived in Puerto Rico in 1493, there were well over 100,000 parrots there and on the surrounding islands. As the human population increased in Puerto Rico, the parrot population declined. In 1975, the world's Puerto Rican Parrot population reached an all-time low of 13 birds. Today there are about 26 parrots in the wild and 56 being kept in captivity at the Luquillo Aviary, a bird refuge in Puerto Rico.
Mexican Spotted Owl
With only about 2,000 Mexican Spotted Owls left in the world, the birds' habitat has been protected for about the past 10 years. 90 per cent of the Mexican Spotted Owl's territory is found on government forest service land in Arizona and New Mexico. As with most birds, the Mexican Spotted Owl's habitat is being destroyed by both logging and forest fires.
Wood Storks can be found in swamps, marshes and ponds in the southern United States and as far as Argentina in South America. In the past 60 years the Wood Stork population has dropped from 60,000 birds to 9,000 birds due to the destruction of wetlands in North America and pollution. Wood Storks are between two to four feet (0.6 to 1.2 meters) tall and are related to the heron and flamingo.