Wild album is about to put extinction crisis to top of Christmas charts

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An album featuring songs from endangered Australian birds has been climbing the charts nationwide in recent days. It is currently No. 1 in the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Best Australian Albums chart. And in the overall ranking of ARIA’s best albums, it is at No. 3, just behind Adele and Ed Sheeran.

Album creator Birdlife Australia is hoping the album will overtake these Brits to reach the top of the ARIA charts. Amid the extinction crisis, it would be a wonderfully symbolic victory for biodiversity if people propelled Australia’s endangered birds to No.1.

Protect them

Songs of disappearance features the songs of 53 birds in Australia. As Birdlife Australia explained, these are the most endangered species in the country. Group CEO Paul Sullivan said:

This album is a very special record with some rare recordings of birds that might not survive if we don’t come together to protect them.

The album uses David Stewart’s animal recordings and was produced by cellist Anthony Albrecht. Its popularity has seen Birdlife Australia run out of CDs, although it is still available for download:

Read on …

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Albrecht commented:

The Australian public needs to be made aware of the dire plight of our unique wildlife. With Songs of Disappearance, we bring the sounds of species that may soon be gone forever.

Dire situation all around

Like The Canary has already pointed out, it is not just Australian birds that are facing a dire situation. The birds of Europe have faced a dramatic decline over the past 40 years. A study by researchers from the RSPB, Birdlife International and the Czech Ornithological Society found that the EU and UK have lost between 17% and 19% of their bird populations since 1980.

Birdlife International put the results of the study on bird population losses and increases into context, noting that “some 900 million birds were lost” during the period studied and that “this is compared to an increase of around 340 million for certain species ”.

Like Geographical reported in 2020, 40% of bird species are in decline globally. Tris Allinson of Birdlife International explained that “Almost all problems affecting birds are man-made”. The loss of their habitat, for activities such as agriculture and forestry, is the main problem. Other threats include the climate crisis, the wildlife trade, pollution and hunting.

It is now

The situation that birds face illustrates the broader direction of wildlife movement. Species across the world are in the throes of an extinction crisis, in large part due to the actions of humans. Global authorities will meet in China in the spring for the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity – COP15 – to address this crisis and define plans for dealing with it in the future.

A future where birdsong can only be easily accessed through iTunes or whatever is unreasonable. And a future filled with birds making mating calls that are never answered, as they are the last of their kind – like the last Kauai male in 1987 – is too dreadful to contemplate:

It is high time to take drastic action to reverse this extinction crisis. 2022 is the year when global authorities must propose meaningful and comprehensive action to stem the disaster.

Featured Image via Georgie Dee / Flickr

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