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Puffins and Turtle Doves on the Verge of Extinction

Update Date: Oct 30, 2015 10:17 AM EDT
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Atlantic Puffins and European Turtle Doves are amongst the species that have been named as the endangered species for birds by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This number has increased the critical list by at least twice in UK. Ecologists say that the reason Puffins have declined is due to increased pollution and diminishing source of food. There are 14 more species that are considered as "near threatened" by the authorities. Conservation director, Martin Harper, with Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says that the "global wave of extinction is now lapping at our shores. The erosion of the UK's wildlife is staggering and this is reinforced when you talk about puffin and turtle dove now facing the same level of extinction threat as African elephant and lion, and being more endangered than the humpback whale," he added, reports BBC.

Even though the birds are still millions in number, there are only a handful of younger ones that are surviving long enough to breed. The Atlantic Puffins in Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands contribute to the 80% population which has suffered at the hands of climate change as well as the fishing practices, reports the Guardian. These birds have been listed as susceptible to extinction and fall in the three lowest categories, behind only endangered and critically endangered.

According to National Geographic's list of top 10 places to see wildlife, Shetland comes on top for taking care of the Puffin population in their region. Not only are the puffins at the brink of extinction, another specie threatened are the turtle doves whose numbers have declined more than 30% in the last 16 years. In UK, the decline has been particularly high. The staggering statistics reveal that nine out of ten birds have been lost since 1970s, as per Daily Mail.

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