Humans driving extinctions is nothing new. In North America, humans are likely responsible for the loss of ice age era mammoths and mastodons. in South America, humans — alongside climate change — led to the loss of many species, including giant ground slots. And, of course, we are currently driving the planet’s sixth mass extinction. Now, a new study suggests that humans settling on the Bahamas 1,000 years ago is directly tied to the local extinction of certain birds.

The authors examined over 7,000 paleontological and archaeological fossils from several sites across 15 islands, including sinkholes and limestone caves whose geological properties allow them to preserve bones in good condition. Many bird bones originated as prey items from barn owls and represent more than 130 species.

Several bird species, such as the giant barn owl and giant eagle, existed on these islands for over 10,000 years. But, they disappeared after humans began inhabiting these islands — they either went extinct, or now exist exclusively outside of the Bahamas. While humans certainly ate these birds, they may have also been considered a nuisance since they likely competed with humans for prey as well.

Approximately 900 years ago, several hawks, doves, and owls as well as charismatic species such as caracara scavengers existed on the islands and overlapped with human dwellers. Shortly afterwards, however, many of these species disappeared from these islands and were only found on a couple of other Bahamian islands. One such species is the Abaco parrot, which is currently found on two islands that are separated by several human-occupied islands with similar habitats.

Overall, humans likely played a large role in the rapid change in bird species across the Bahamas in the past millenium.

According to study co-author Janet Franklin,  “No other environmental change could explain their loss.”