A RECENT article by the online environmental webpage, Mongabay, has reported that over 300 new bird species have been added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
This increase follows one of the largest reviews of non-perching birds carried out by the BirdLife International — the organisation which carries out bird assessments for the list.
The report noted that of the 361 new bird species added to the list, 87 are currently threatened with extinction.
"Many of these new species were formally considered as subspecies or races, but have now been deemed full-fledged species in their own right," Mongabay reported.
"Put another way, one tenth of the world's bird species have been flying below the conservation radar," said Stuart Butchart, BirdLife International's head of science, quoted in the article.
While it has not been confirmed whether any of these new species were from the South Pacific region, Fiji currently has six different birds already listed on the IUCR Red List, with the Fiji Petrel listed as critically endangered.
The petrel, known locally as the Kacau ni Gau, is a sea bird found mainly on the island of Gau in the Lomaiviti Group and has no more than 100 in their total population.