Monday, July 10, 2006

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore"

A report in New Scientist forecasts complete homogenization of the global bird population by 2100.

Every year another species of bird vanishes forever, new research suggests, an extinction rate four times higher than traditional estimates.

Furthermore, the analysis predicts that by the end of the century the rate will accelerate to 10 extinctions per year, meaning the loss of 12% of all 10,000 known bird species.

The work was carried out by Peter Raven, at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis, US, and colleagues. By the year 2100, Raven adds, “we will see total homogenisation – an end to regional diversity. The same few bird species will be seen everywhere, whether they are native or not".
It seems to me that to survive in the anthropogenic environment, birds require a certain minimal level of inteligence, adaptability, and an omnivorous ability to eat human garbage. Most post-human bird species will be descended from the sparrows, pigeons, and crows that are surviving and even thriving in the current mass extinctions.

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