Changes in the IUCN Red List for birds show that over the past twenty years the status of the world’s bird species has deteriorated, with more species slipping closer to extinction. This has happened in all major ecosystems, but the changes have not occurred evenly across the world: birds in Oceania and seabirds are substantially more threatened on average and have declined the fastest, while Asian birds show a sharp decline linked to forest destruction.
Analysis of the changes in threat status of the world’s birds in the past two decades shows that, despite the conservation efforts of governments and non-governmental organisations across the world, birds as a group are becoming more threatened. Some species have improved in status during 1988–2008, but many more have deteriorated (, , ). Trends for other most other groups of organisms cannot yet be quantified in a similar way, but they are likely to mirror the deterioration shown by birds.
Although the threat status of the world’s birds has deteriorated in all major ecosystems (), these changes have not occurred evenly across the world. A regional breakdown of the Red List Index shows that Asia’s birds have undergone the sharpest declines since 1988. This is largely because of the rapid forest destruction in the lowlands of Borneo and Sumatra through the 1990s (). Comparisons of different species-groups highlight the more threatened status and faster declines of open-ocean seabirds, linked in particular with the recent expansion of commercial longline fisheries () in addition to pressures at nesting colonies.