Passerines are by far the most successful group of birds on Earth with respect to numbers and distribution around the world. More than five hundred passerine species, out of 5,100 to 6,000 species worldwide, are considered threatened with extinction, mostly due to habitat loss. (The exact number of passerine species is unknown due to disagreements among bird experts about whether some birds are species or not. About 8,600 total bird species are believed to exist throughout the world.) Bird experts, or ornithologists (people who scientifically study birds), believe that some of the species of passerines will become extinct in the future unless corrective measures are taken to preserve their habitat and reverse other negative conditions brought about mostly by human activities.
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