Australian bird species are in crisis with at least 50 endangered or critically endangered. Federal Environment Department figures show 23 birds are already extinct. BirdLife Australia chief executive Graeme Hamilton said the IUCN Red List four-yearly update on birds released yesterday described a global tragedy that was mirrored in Australia. "In the 200-plus years since Europeans arrived in Australia we have so diminished our natural capital that 234 Australian birds are either extinct, threatened with extinction or near threatened," Dr Hamilton said. Critically endangered birds include the orange-bellied parrot Neophema chrysogaster, regent honeyeater Anthochaera phrygia, grey-headed albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma, Christmas Island frigatebird Fregata andrewsi, Norfolk Island Tasman parakeet Cyanoramphus cookii, western ground parrot Pezoporus flaviventris and the star finch Neochmia ruficauda, which is possibly extinct.
The Courier-Mail, June 08, 2012