White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi, a secretive and unobtrusive sub-Saharan bird, is the latest species to join the growing list of those on the very edge of extinction. Destruction and degradation of its high altitude wet grassland habitat, including wetland drainage, conversion for agriculture, water abstraction, overgrazing by livestock and cutting of marsh vegetation, have driven it to this precarious state. Urgent action is now needed in both Ethiopia and South Africa to better understand the speciesâ€™ ecology and to address these threats and save it from extinction.
â€œAlmost 200 species of bird are now in real danger of being lost foreverâ€, said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLifeâ€™s Director of Science, Policy and Information. â€œThey are being hit on multiple fronts. Habitat loss, agricultural changes, invasive species and climate change are the principle threats. Without these problems being addressed the list will continue to grow.â€