Europe’s dwindling bird population

A skylark, one of the 144 species that has been subject in the study. The skylark population has fallen by 46% since 1980.

A skylark, one of the 144 species that has been subject in the study. The skylark population has fallen by 46% since 1980.

A disturbing study about Europe’s dwindling bird population has caught my fancy and decided to share it in case many haven’t read about it.

The researchers from Britain’s University of Exeter and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said in their study, which was published in the journal Ecology Letters, that Europe has around 421 million fewer birds today than it had 30 years ago.

The disturbing dropped in bird population has been attributed to modern farming methods and the loss and damage of habitats.

“This is a warning from birds throughout Europe. It is clear that the way we are managing the environment is unsustainable for many of our most familiar species,” said Richard Gregory of the RSPB.

“The conservation and legal protection of all birds and their habitats in tandem are essential to reverse declines.”

This is what I call the price of progress that is taking a heavy toll not only in the flora but also in the fauna kingdom as well.

The study found that about 90 percent of the decline occurred in the most common bird species, including grey partridges, skylarks, sparrows and starlings.

“It is very worrying that the most common species of bird are declining rapidly because it is this group of birds that people benefit from the most”, said Dr. Richard Inger, one of the researchers from the British university.

Not all common birds are declining, however. Populations of great tits, blue tits, robins and blackbirds, are all going up, the study says.

Rare species such as marsh harriers, ravens, buzzards, storks and stone curlews had also shown increases in recent years, probably due to conservation efforts.

The scientists analyzed data on 144 species of European birds collected from numerous surveys in 25 different countries.

Much of the information was provided by thousands of volunteer fieldworkers who identified and counted birds in the areas where they lived.

Researchers have urged countries for an increased conservation through large-scale environmental improvement, such as urban green space projects and environmental farmland schemes.


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