Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crisis? What Crisis? II (A list of extinct birds)

extinct birds, crisis? what crisis
Carolina Parakeet, extinct in 1914

The modern extinction crisis has hit birds hard -- it's not just the passenger pigeon and the great auk that are gone, according to the list created by Martin Fowlie at Birdlife International, there's 130 more:
King Island Emu Dromaius aterEX
Kangaroo Island Emu Dromaius baudinianusEX
New Zealand Quail Coturnix novaezelandiaeEX
Double-banded Argus Argusianus bipunctatusEX
Mauritius Shelduck Alopochen mauritianusEX
Reunion Shelduck Alopochen kervazoiEX
Amsterdam Duck Anas mareculaEX
Mauritius Duck Anas theodoriEX
Labrador Duck Camptorhynchus labradoriusEX
Auckland Islands Merganser Mergus australisEX
Large St Helena Petrel Pterodroma rupinarumEX
Small St Helena Petrel Bulweria bifaxEX
Alaotra Grebe Tachybaptus rufolavatusEX
Atitlan Grebe Podilymbus gigasEX
Colombian Grebe Podiceps andinusEX
Reunion Ibis Threskiornis solitariusEX
Black-backed Bittern Ixobrychus novaezelandiaeEX
Reunion Night-heron Nycticorax duboisiEX
Mauritius Night-heron Nycticorax mauritianusEX
Rodrigues Night-heron Nycticorax megacephalusEX
Pallas’s Cormorant Phalacrocorax perspicillatusEX
Guadalupe Caracara Caracara lutosaEX
Reunion Kestrel Falco buboisiEX
Hawkins’s Rail Diaphorapteryx hawkinsiEX
Red Rail Aphanapteryx bonasiaEX
Rodrigues Rail Aphanapteryx leguatiEX
Bar-winged Rail Nesoclopeus poecilopterusEX
Wake Island Rail Gallirallus wakensisEX
Tahiti Rail Gallirallus pacificusEX
Dieffenbach’s Rail Gallirallus dieffenbachiiEX
Chatham Rail Cabalus modestusEX
Ascension Crake Mundia elpenorEX
St Helena Crake Atlantisia podarcesEX
Miller’s Rail Porzana nigraEX
St Helena Rail Porzana astrictocarpusEX
Laysan Rail Porzana palmeriEX
Hawaiian Rail Porzana sandwichensisEX
Kosrae Crake Porzana monasaEX
Reunion Gallinule Porphyrio coerulescensEX
New Caledonia Gallinule Porphyrio kukwiedeiEX
White Gallinule Porphyrio albusEX
North Island Takahe Porphyrio mantelliEX
Mascarene Coot Fulica newtoniEX
Canary Islands Oystercatcher Haematopus meadewaldoiEX
White-winged Sandpiper Prosobonia ellisiEX
Tahitian Sandpiper Prosobonia leucopteraEX
Great Auk Pinguinus impennisEX
Dodo Raphus cucullatusEX
Rodrigues Solitaire Pezophaps solitariaEX
St Helena Dove Dysmoropelia dekarchiskosEX
Reunion Pigeon Columba duboisiEX
Bonin Wood-pigeon Columba versicolorEX
Ryukyu Pigeon Columba jouyiEX
Passenger Pigeon Ectopistes migratoriusEX
Liverpool Pigeon Caloenas maculataEX
Norfolk Island Ground-dove Gallicolumba norfolciensisEX
Tanna Ground-dove Gallicolumba ferrugineaEX
Thick-billed Ground-dove Gallicolumba salamonisEX
Choiseul Pigeon Microgoura meekiEX
Red-moustached Fruit-dove Ptilinopus mercieriiEX
Rodrigues Blue-pigeon Alectroenas rodericanaEX
Mauritius Blue-pigeon Alectroenas nitidissimaEX
Norfolk Island Kaka Nestor productusEX
Rodrigues Parrot Necropsittacus rodericanusEX
Raiatea Parakeet Cyanoramphus ulietanusEX
Black-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus zealandicusEX
Paradise Parrot Psephotus pulcherrimusEX
Mascarene Parrot Mascarinus mascarinusEX
Seychelles Parakeet Psittacula wardiEX
Newton’s Parakeet Psittacula exsulEX
Mauritius Grey Parrot Lophopsittacus bensoniEX
Broad-billed Parrot Lophopsittacus mauritianusEX
Jamaican Red Macaw Ara gosseiEX
Dominican Green-and-yellow Macaw Ara atwoodiEX
Jamaican Green-and-yellow Macaw Ara erythrocephalaEX
Lesser Antillean Macaw Ara guadeloupensisEX
Cuban Macaw Ara tricolorEX
Guadeloupe Parakeet Aratinga labatiEX
Carolina Parakeet Conuropsis carolinensisEX
Guadeloupe Amazon Amazona violaceaEX
Martinique Amazon Amazona martinicanaEX
St Helena Cuckoo Nannococcyx psixEX
Snail-eating Coua Coua delalandeiEX
Reunion Owl Mascarenotus gruchetiEX
Rodrigues Owl Mascarenotus murivorusEX
Mauritius Owl Mascarenotus sauzieriEX
Laughing Owl Sceloglaux albifaciesEX
Gould’s Emerald Chlorostilbon elegansEX
Brace’s Emerald Chlorostilbon braceiEX
St Helena Hoopoe Upupa antaiosEX
Bush Wren Xenicus longipesEX
Stephens Island Wren Traversia lyalliEX
Kauai Oo Moho braccatusEX
Oahu Oo Moho apicalisEX
Bishop’s Oo Moho bishopiEX
Hawaii Oo Moho nobilisEX
Kioea Chaetoptila angustiplumaEX
Chatham Bellbird Anthornis melanocephalaEX
Lord Howe Gerygone Gerygone insularisEX
Huia Heteralocha acutirostrisEX
North Island Piopio Turnagra tanagraEX
South Island Piopio Turnagra capensisEX
Maupiti Monarch Pomarea pomareaEX
Eiao Monarch Pomarea fluxaEX
Nuku Hiva Monarch Pomarea nukuhivaeEX
Ua Pou Monarch Pomarea miraEX
Guam Flycatcher Myiagra freycinetiEX
Chatham Fernbird Bowdleria rufescensEX
Aldabra Warbler Nesillas aldabranaEX
Robust White-eye Zosterops strenuusEX
Kosrae Starling Aplonis corvinaEX
Mysterious Starling Aplonis mavornataEX
Norfolk Island Starling Aplonis fuscaEX
Rodrigues Starling Necropsar rodericanusEX
Reunion Starling Fregilupus variusEX
Bonin Thrush Zoothera terrestrisEX
Kamao Myadestes myadestinusEX
Amaui Myadestes woahensisEX
Grand Cayman Thrush Turdus ravidusEX
Bonin Grosbeak Chaunoproctus ferreorostrisEX
Lanai Hookbill Dysmorodrepanis munroiEX
Lesser Koa-finch Rhodacanthis flavicepsEX
Greater Koa-finch Rhodacanthis palmeriEX
Kona Grosbeak Chloridops konaEX
Greater Amakihi Hemignathus sagittirostrisEX
Lesser Akialoa Hemignathus obscurusEX
Greater Akialoa Hemignathus ellisianusEX
Kakawahie Paroreomyza flammeaEX
Ula-ai-hawane Ciridops annaEX
Hawaii Mamo Drepanis pacificaEX
Black Mamo Drepanis funereaEX
Slender-billed Grackle Quiscalus palustrisEX

These are extinctions in the last 500 years. If you think that the worst is over and we know better now, I'm here to tell you that the worst is yet to come and though we mean well in our conservation efforts, our numbers and our appetite for land and resources is the new force of nature. The prospects for the crisis getting worse before it gets better are embedded in this list of not 21, not 210, but 2122 endangered birds. You can also read about bird poaching in Cyprus, where in 2010, some 2 million migrating birds were caught and sold to be eaten.  See also how Todd McGrain has been memorializing five extinct North American birds through The Lost Bird Project. If you want to do something to help birds this holiday season, why not join the Christmas Bird Count? You can probably find a site near you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reproductive Health Report Card

Be careful if you visit the Population Institute, it might make you nervous. Their website has a population counter and while I was there a few days ago, the counter showed that new people were being added to the planet every second. Now, a few days later, more than 660,000 people have been added since my first visit. Well, welcome all of them, but my gosh, that's a lot of people in such a short time. It makes me nervous that with all our talk of sustainability, it won't be enough to feed, clothe and house everybody.

This week, the Population Institute released its report, Not Making the Grade: a 50 State Report Card on Reproductive Health and Rights. Overall, the US gets a grade of C- because, among other reasons, the teen pregnancy rate here is higher than any other industrialized country. Nearly 3 out of every 10 teenage girls will become pregnant and nearly half of all pregnancies in the US are unintended. You can find the report here and see how your state fares. Massachusetts scores barely above the national average with a C, partly because it does not mandate sex education in public schools (really? in 2012?), nor does it offer a Medicaid expansion for family planning services.
reproductive health report card, women's rights, population growth

Only 12 states received grades of B- or better and 3 states received grades of A: California, Oregon and Washington. Here's why California received an A: (i) It does not currently have abortion restrictions that would make it unnecessarily difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion should she choose to do so; (ii) it guarantees a woman’s right to access emergency contraception in the emergency room and in pharmacies; and (iii) it requires private insurance companies to cover birth control with only a limited refusal clause that exempts only churches and church associations.

How does your state fare? Shouldn't we be trying to boost the national average?