The Mass Extinction of Pacific Island Birds: An interview with Alison Boyer

May 17, 2013

The Guam Rail

Estimating the impact of humans on other species often involves a lot of guesswork, especially when considering the past. Alison Boyer is with the University of Tennessee's Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. Boyer and her fellow researchers have been putting together an estimate of how many species of land birds have gone extinct on islands in the Pacific Ocean. Boyer says the loss of more than 980 species of birds on these islands is the largest extinction event in the last 15 thousand years and is one of the largest recognized impacts of humans on other species to date. She spoke with WUOT's Chrissy Keuper...