Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Bird Extinctions in Recent Geologic Time


National Middle School Science Standards

Life Science, Earth Science

Key Terms

ornithology, bird conservation, extinction, endangered species, island ecosystems, Holocene period 

Key Concepts

  • Human influences on bird populations
  • Ecology of birds and vulnerability to extinction
  • Impacts of human activities on ecology 
  • Conservation of endangered bird species
  • Technology used by ornithologists 

Resource Types


Vertebrate Zoology Subject Guide Smithsonian Libraries

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Recent Bird Extinctions teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations.

Life Science

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

  • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Earth Science

MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

  • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.

Resource Type
Subject Guides
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Life Science