RESEARCH: The four most common wild bird species in the world

There are 50 billion wild birds on Earth – but four species dominate – says a New Scientist article on 17 May 2021.

Earth has around 50 billion wild bird species according to a new global estimate, but most species are very rare and only a handful number in the billions.

Just four wild species have over a billion individuals, and they are the most common wild bird species in the world. This is in contrast to 1,180 species that have less than 5,000 individual birds each.

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Elephant census taken from space

In South Africa, an elephant census – counting the number of elephants – is being conducted by satellite imaging. 

This innovative, cutting-edge technology means that scientists can use the satellite images to count African elephants from space. 

The images are from an Earth-Observation satellite orbiting the planet 600 kilometres (372 miles) above the ground. This could enable scientists to survey up to 5,000 square kilometres of elephant habitat each day – on days without cloud cover.

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