New Zealanders To Vote On Bird Of The Century

WELLINGTON, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Oct, 2023) A total of 77 New Zealand‘s native birds are in the running for the title of Bird of the Century 2023 contest, with the voting opened on Monday for two weeks.

The annual Bird of the Year contest has been temporarily rebranded as “Bird of the Century” to celebrate the 100th birthday of the conservation organisation Forest & Bird.

Five extinct species have been added as candidates for the first time: bush wren, South Island snipe, huia, piopio, and laughing owl.

“The five extinct birds in this year’s competition are a heartbreaking reminder of the beautiful birds we’ve lost,” said Forest & Bird’s chief executive Nicola Toki, adding 82 percent of New Zealand‘s living native bird species are threatened or at risk of extinction.

The last officially confirmed sighting of huia, an iconic songbird, was in 1907, but it is likely that the huia persisted into the 1920s. The last confirmed record of the laughing owl was a dead specimen found in Canterbury in 1914, but sight and sound records persisted into the 1930s, according to Forest & Bird.

Endemic to New Zealand, antipodean albatross is at serious risk of extinction. The antipodean albatross, with its declining population, is the most threatened species of albatross. There are only 5,100 breeding pairs remaining, according to the Live Ocean Foundation, which supports efforts to protect the giant seabird.

The number one threat to the bird is being killed by long lines from fishing boats, as climate change is thought to drive the albatrosses to feed in more northern waters where they cross paths with fishing fleets, the foundation said.

“Winning Bird of the Century is more than a vanity project; it’s a real call to action,” it said.

Dozens of campaign managers have signed up to back their favorite species, and Forest & Bird encourages people to share what they are voting for with their communities and friends, and on social media. People can vote for up to five birds.


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