The Hubara Bustard, the largest bird on the Canaries, could be extinct within 50 years, according to a recent scientific report.
The report, published in Scientific Reports paints a grim picture for one of the island’s most iconic birds, according to a report in El Diario de Lanzarote.
Around 30-35 birds die every year of natural causes such as starvation or illness, but an equal amount die of human-related causes, such as electricity cables, car accidents and cat attacks. Recent droughts have also caused serious problems for the birds. This means that the annual death rate of 12.5% exceeds the birth rate of 7.2%, ultimately resulting in extinction.
The report predicts a 100% probability of extinction on Fuerteventura, which has seen its bustard population decline to just 150 breeding pairs. Lanzarote has 500 pairs, but the island’s birds also face extinction if the current death rate is not addressed.
Authors of the reports have called for electricity cables to be buried and used telephone companies to remove cables that are no longer being used, which pose a threat to the birds.