Australian Birdlife facing the challenge of survival

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Sydney, Sep 30 (UNI) The night parrot seen last time in a Queensland national park was a headless corpse that looked like an over-sized budgerigar with similar markings and shape but a stumpier tail.

Till now only paradise parrot has officially been listed in the extinct species but the night parrot would join its fate once the ''remaining undiscovered populations wink out'', The Age quoted Bird Australia's threatened species committee chairman Professor Stephen Garnett as saying.

Professor Garnett in his research, the history of threatened birds in Australia and its offshore islands, listed disturbing predictions that 45 Australian bird species were threatened to some degree by increase in temperature by 2050.

The impact of climate change was now starting to show an impact on numbers, said Professor Garnett.

The fairy tern has disappeared from South Australia because of the salinity killing of the fish they feed on and the mismanagement of river flows that destroys their nests. In the Coorong and Murray lakes region, nests get flooded as the water level increases, while foxes gain access to nests when water levels come down. Foxes have destroyed 95 per cent of nests in the past two years.

Based on a report from Professor Garnett's committee, World Conservation Union has listed the fairy tern as 'vulnerable' on its ''red list''.

The Mallee emu-wren - a tiny bird weighing less than seven grams - has been marked endangered as its population has reduced to less than half in the past 10 years in South Australia and Victoria because of bushfires and drought.

However, the number of birds headed for the extinction status will multiply in the next few years as they lose the challenge regarding survival of the fittest.

UNI

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