Science Monday —”Old Yeller” Edition

7 Dec

While back in Montana for the holidays I learned that there is a worldwide down shortage due to the avian flu crisis in Asia.  Sadly, down comforters are not the only victims of this increasingly deadly disease:

An extremely rare Hawaiian bird has died in captivity, possibly marking the extinction of its species only 31 years after it was first discovered.

The Po'o-uli, which was suffering from avian malaria, belonged to one of the world's most threatened bird families – the Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Thirteen other honeycreeper species have already died out, in what some are calling Hawaii's extinction crisis.

Many species are in decline due to habitat loss and introduced predators.

"The tragic death of this bird means that we may now be too late to prevent the addition of the Po'o-uli to the depressingly long list of recent extinctions in Hawaii, " said Stuart Butchart, of BirdLife International.

"It should serve as a wake-up call to redouble our efforts to save Hawaii's threatened species."

Link: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Rare bird falls to avian malaria.

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