Bright songbirds may be traded to extinction.

Image credit:

According to studies, songbirds with distinctive colours face a significant risk of extinction because people want to keep them as pets.

As a result of birds being kept as pets for their lovely sounds, the pet songbird trade in Asia has already brought some species dangerously close to extinction.

According to a recent study, certain feather colours increase the likelihood that birds will be captured from the wild and sold.

According to researchers, rearing birds in captivity for trade may be beneficial.

Lead researcher Prof Rebecca Senior from the University of Durham said, “That won’t work for all animals. However, there is optimism that we may change the source of some pet birds so they are raised in captivity rather than being caught in the wild.

The research, which was published in the journal Current Biology, also suggested that if the most desirable birds kept disappearing from the wild, the remaining populations in Asia’s tropical forests would progressively become “more drab.” The first birds to vanish would be the ones with the most stunning, distinctive colours.

Prof. Senior and her team conducted what amounted to a stocktake of the species and colours that were most frequently purchased and sold in Asian songbird markets in order to better understand the problems facing wild birds.

In order to imitate the effects of trade, the scientists eliminated the most traded species from the wild population. In Asia’s tropical woods, this demonstrated that continued songbird trapping would lead to “more brown and less blue” plumage.

The effects of the trade have been dubbed a “conservation crisis” in some parts of Asia, particularly Indonesia. In an effort to save species that are at risk of extinction due to commerce, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established a specialised group.

Songbird ownership has a long history in Indonesian culture. Competitions for the best bird singing are extremely well-liked and, on a national basis, can award rewards worth tens of thousands of pounds. Many environmentalists have come to the conclusion that opposing trade is pointless.