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Biodiversity Three out of eight Swiss bird species endangered

bird in grass

The northern lapwing is an increasingly rare sight in Switzerland.

(KEYSTONE/DPA/Patrick Pleul)

Worldwide, about one in eight bird species is endangered. In Switzerland, it’s three times as many.

The statistics come from a report published by BirdLife International on Monday. Of the 11,122 known bird species, 156 have already died out and five have survived only in captivity. Another 1,469 species – or 13% – are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Speciesexternal link. Exactly 222 species are threatened with extinction worldwide, 461 are considered threatened and another 786 are vulnerable. In addition, 1,017 species are on the alert list. 

+ Why the Swiss stork population is growing 

Most red list species are affected by the expansion and industrialisation of agriculture. Other threats include forestry, invasive foreign species, hunting and poaching, and climate change, according to the report. 

In Switzerland, the situation is comparatively worse, with 39% of birds on the red list – three times the worldwide figure. 

“These numbers indicate that the condition of the Swiss bird community is even worse than in many other countries,” said Raffael Ayé, head of species promotion at BirdLife Switzerland, in a statementexternal link, which goes on to note that urgent action is required in connection with agriculture, in particular. 

Some of the affected species include ones that used to be common in Switzerland, such as partridges, lapwings and turtle doves.


SDA/ATS, swissinfo.ch, sm

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