Darwin’s finches may face the risk of extinction in the next 200 years. It was revealed in a new study which was published in Applied Ecology Journal at 18 Dec. According to this study, birds race face an imminent threat due to existence of parasitic flies. One main attribute of these flies is their toxic nature which can even diminish the small birds’ race in a couple of decades.
Nevertheless, the chief of this research, Dale Clayton, has a reason to believe that use of word extinction for small birds, especially Darwin’s finches, is a bit of exaggeration, also suggesting that birds’ species can be saved from being even reduced.
According to Clayton, human beings can play an important role in stopping the extinction of these birds by practically discouraging dominance of parasitic flies. Moreover, Clayton has also welcomed the concept of natural development of birds’ defense against parasitic flies and their toxic larvae.
Even if the human interaction is required, which is the case most likely, in this fight against parasitic nest flies; it is not going to be an easy process at all. These flies are believed to have originated from Galapagos Islands in 1960s and are given the official name of Philornis downsi.
Although Clayton expresses hope in finding the way against prevalence of these flies, he doesn’t underestimate the threat posed by these flies. According to Clayton, these flies usually lay their eggs in nostrils of baby birds. Larvae gets their feed from the flesh of bird and this process ultimately leads to the development of punctures which are life threatening for birds. Clayton further mentioned that these flies came into the limelight when these were found on the islands in 1990s.
Clayton said that there are several other factors which too are threatening for finches such as rats that prey nestlings and growing unsuitability of environment. However, dominance in existence of parasitic flies seems the biggest threat which needs to be dealt with on the first priority. While any solution to enhance birds’ capacity to resist their extinction from the hands of these flies could be found, it is imperative to work on restricting these flies from growing in number.