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Study shows that Australians must work with international partners to save Australia’s birds.

The research showed that the status of Australian birds was declining faster than elsewhere in the world. According to Dr Judit Szabo the main reason is a rapid decline in migratory shorebirds coming to Australia from Asia and ongoing threats to oceanic seabirds. Other causes of decline in Australian birds have been invasive species, like rats and cats, and changes in fire regime. Overseas the losses have been caused by ongoing coastal development in Asia and deep sea fishing.

The Australian Research Council funded study, done in conjunction with BirdLife Australia and published in the journal Biological Conservation, reports on changes in the Red List Index for all Australian species and subspecies of birds since 1990. The Index is used by the world’s governments to assess performance under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

According to Professor Possingham from The University of Queensland the Red List Index can be considered the Dow Jones index of birds.

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