News Round-Up

From avocet to zebra finch: big data study finds more than 50 billion birds in the world


There are roughly 50 billion individual birds in the world, a new big data study by UNSW Sydney suggests – about six birds for every human on the planet.

The study – which bases its findings on citizen science observations and detailed algorithms – estimates how many birds belong to 9700 different bird species, including flightless birds like emus and penguins.

It found many iconic Australian birds are numbered in the millions, like the rainbow lorikeet (19 million), sulphur-crested cockatoo (10 million) and laughing kookaburra (3.4 million). But other natives, like the rare black-breasted buttonquail, only have around 100 members left. MORE