16. The State of the World's Birds and the Future of Avian Diversity

  1. Gareth Dyke3 and
  2. Gary Kaiser4
  1. Gavin H. Thomas1,2

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119990475.ch16

Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds

Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds

How to Cite

Thomas, G. H. (2011) The State of the World's Birds and the Future of Avian Diversity, in Living Dinosaurs: The Evolutionary History of Modern Birds (eds G. Dyke and G. Kaiser), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119990475.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 3

    University College Dublin, Ireland

  2. 4

    Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    Imperial College London, Ascot, UK

  2. 2

    University of Bristol, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470656662

Online ISBN: 9781119990475



  • the future - conservation and climate change;
  • state of the world's birds and future of avian diversity - avian diversity hanging in the balance, human activity impacts on populations, species and ecosystems on a global scale;
  • threats to and drivers of recent and projected avian extinctions - differential responses to global change, and how they shape future of avian diversity;
  • extinction risk, not phylogenetically random - 12% of the worlds bird species, threatened with extinction;
  • Zoological Society of London, and the Evolutionary Distinct Globally Endangered (EDGE) program - raising awareness and funds for conservation of species;
  • interaction effects, types of threat and species' ecology - on extinction risk across families of birds;
  • ecological processes, in understanding mechanisms of threat - limited value for practical conservation;
  • geographic distribution of threatened birds - breeding ranges of extant birds, and maps of their global distributions;
  • global human distributions, and future projected anthropogenic impact on biodiversity - if unchecked, a dramatic impact on avian distributions;
  • rapidity of recent and projected climate change - new challenges to the worlds biota


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Extinction Risk is not Phylogenetically Random

  • Loss of Evolutionary History

  • Evolutionary Predisposition to Threat

  • The Geographic Distribution of Threatened Birds

  • Ecosystem Consequences of Avian Declines

  • Responses to Climate Change in Birds

  • A Future for Avian Diversity?

  • References