For Numeniini, a family of birds that includes Curlews and Godwits, new research indicates that these birds are at risk. A recent study by Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (BirdLife in the UK), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the International Wader Study Group suggests they could actually be one of the most threatened families of birds on earth. The study consulted over 100 experts who assessed the threats to Numeniini throughout their migratory regions and found that seven of the thirteen species are threatened with extinction. Two species of curlews might already be extinct; the Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris) was last observed in 1995 and the Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis) has not been seen since 1963. The study calls for conservation in Numeniini habitat to prevent the extinction of the remaining 11 species.
Numeniini travel all around the world and are found on every continent except Antarctica. They are found in a variety of habitats, from coastal habitat to grasslands where they provide important ecosystem services. One member of the family, the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), holds the record for the longest non-stop migration for any species. That means no food or rest for eight days as they fly from Alaska to New Zealand. Conservation measures are needed to prevent the extinction of more Numeniini, which provide crucial ecosystem services for wetland communities where they feed during migration.
Source: Island Conservation, 16 March 2017
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