Ten European bird species are in severe danger of extinction, according to the new red list of European birds, published by Birdlife International, with the European Commission and the IUCN. The puffin, fulmar and razorbill, once very common in Iceland, are all listed as endangered—though not severely so.
A total of 67 bird species are considered to be in danger of disappearing from Europe. Ten species are listed as critically endangered, including the Balearic Shearwater, Slender-billed Curlew and Yellow-breasted Bunting. A further 18 species are endangered and 39 species are at risk. That covers 13 percent of all European bird species.
Iconic birds of Iceland, the puffin, razorbill and northern fulmar are among the 18 endangered species, though they were once among the continent’s least threatened birds, with some of the world’s biggest nesting grounds in Iceland.
The puffin has been struggling to breed in Iceland in recent years, especially off the southern coast and it is now a talking point when a puffin raises a chick on the Westman Islands—once the world’s biggest colony.
The eider duck is now included on the at risk list as well, as conditions for seabirds generally continue to decline. Increasing ocean temperature, and the changes that brings to food availability, is considered the biggest reason for the birds’ woes. Climate change and habitat loss to humans are also big challenges to Europe’s birds.
The report is not all negative, however. 20 of the 533 species examined have moved off the critical list due to conservation efforts—most often in habitat reclamation and management.