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[Photos] Here Are 7 Southeast Asian Birds You Might Never See Again

We’ve written at length about the bleak future of the Mekong River, which is suffering major environmental degradation due to human activity. But it isn’t only the animals living in the waters of the Mekong that face the threat of extinction as a result: those that fly high above the mighty waterway are also at risk.

Mekong Eye, a website devoted to exploring stories that relate to the future of the Mekong region and the global environment, recently drew attention to seven types of birds across the Mekong whose habitats are under threat as regional governments seek to expand commercial waterway access.

The website cites Thailand’s leading ornithologist, Philip D. Round, from Mahidol University, who writes that if realized, such activities “would be akin to genocide of riverine bird populations”.

Round also argues that biodiversity loss is an issue that affects the survival of humanity itself, as species loss is second only to climate change among the most significant destabilizing forces for the earth's systems.

Here are the seven species of birds that are at risk of extinction in the Mekong region:

The Mekong wagtail.

The river tern.

The wire-tailed swallow.

The river lapwing.

The great thick-knee.

The Jerdon's buschchat.

The small pratincole.

[Photos via Mekong Eye]

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