Birds which would be threatened by biofuels production
This bird was once common in open fields in many parts of Europe, but intensive agriculture has caused this bird to extinct in 11 European countries, with its French population crashed by over 90% in the last 20 years. Little Bustard now depends on set-aside or similar extensively managed farmland for their survival. Due to the current high cereal prices, the European Commission has reduced the rate of set-aside to 0% for the 2008 harvest year, and is proposing its complete abolition, without introduce any offset measures to safeguard the habitats for Little Bustard or other bird species such as Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis and Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus.
This endangered species is under threat due to the Kenya government recent approval of a large-scale sugarcane project 30km upstream of the Tana River Delta (IBA: KE022). The off-site pollution and water drainage will seriously affect the ecosystem in the Delta. Other bird species threatened by the project include the near threatened Malindi Pipit Anthus melindae and the very little-known Tana River Cisticola Cisticola restrictus.
This poorly-known bird is endemic of New Britain and has a high dependence of primary forest. This bird could lose almost 40% of forest within its altitudinal range due to deforestation in New Britain - an island situated off the east coast of New Guinea –which forms part of a high priority Endemic Bird Area (EBA 195). New Britain is being logged at higher rate than almost anywhere else in Southeast Asia (1.1% for New Britain compared to 0.8-0.9% for Southeast Asia). It is estimated that 11% (320 km2) of cleared land is converted into oil palm plantations in 2000, and has increased to 800 km2 by the end of 2006. Other threatened birds in New Britain include Bismarck kingfisher Alcedo websteri and Slaty-mantled sparrowhawk Accipiter luteoschistaceus.
Ref: Buchanan, G.M. et al. (2008) Using remote sensing to inform conservation status assessment: estimates of recent deforestation rates on New Britain and the impacts upon endemic birds. Biological Conservation 141: 56-66
This species is critically endangered, is likely to have a very small range, and an extremely small population. The type-specimen was taken amidst bushy vegetation in dry forest in the transitional zone between Amazonian rainforest and central Brazilian Cerrado. Habitat degradation would further threaten this species due to the extensive clearance and soybean expansion into the Cerrado. This savannah habitat is under serious threat since it is not classified as forest, hence not protected from biofuel crop expansion under the Renewable energy Directive. Other endemics include the Critically Endangered Blue-eyed Ground-dove Columbina cyanopis and the Minas Gerais Tyrannulet Phylloscartes roquettei.