We live in an amazing time. We are witnessing an increase in life expectancy, technological progress, mission space and the colonization of the nearest planets to the Earth by robots. However, along with increasing wealth, technological development and breakthroughs in medicine on our planet extinct plants and animals. A new study conducted by experts at Cornell University and the American service for the protection of birds the results disappointing data: the number of birds in North America and Canada decreased by 29% over the last 50 years.
Where did the swallows and sparrows?
On 1 September 1914, died the last of its kind passenger pigeon. Hunting of these birds, which once were the most common pigeons in the world, was very popular. No one noticed as they disappeared from the face of the earth. Unfortunately, history repeats itself — and around the world. The results of the study, which analyzed ten years of data on North American birds, States that populations of birds on the continent has decreased by 29 percent since 1970.
“It is critically important study,” says Nicole Michelle, an ecologist from the National Audubon society. The most surprising thing is that most of all affected the most common types. We are witnessing the disappearance of rare and endangered species extinction, and the usual adapted to the individual. A team of researchers found that 90% of the missing species were from 12 families. It’s sparrows, Warbler, blackbirds, finches, larks, starlings and swallows.
In trouble dark-eyed Junco is a type of Sparrow and one of the most common types. Even birds that are known for their ruggedness and adaptability, such as house Sparrow and European Starling, are under in danger. Scientists say that birds in North America and Canada, still a lot. However, their number was considerably reduced. So tonight, three billion of beaks do not catch insects. Three billion wings move less pollen and other nutrients around the world. We didn’t just lose the birds, we’ve lost what they do. According to experts our forests and orchards will be every year becoming quieter.
Have you noticed that in our country fewer birds? How long ago did you see the sparrows? Join the discussion on this topic in our Telegram chat.
The sixth mass extinction of wildlife
Recently we wrote about the fact that scientists around the world are seriously concerned about the state of biodiversity on the planet. Some experts call the current situation of the sixth mass extinction of wildlife. A third terrestrial species are declining, including those about which we are least worried. Insects also becomes smaller, however, something specific about them is hard to say as scientists do not have accurate data about their populations. Earlier this year the intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystems (IPBES) has published a report, according to which extinction is 1 million species.
In their study, the researchers used data from the meteorological network to show that the number of birds migrating across the night sky of America with 2007 decreased by 14%. This is important. Radar not only provides another line of evidence independent from the more traditional shots, but also identifies the species that passed these shootings, for example breeding in the Arctic coastal birds. This increases the confidence of experts that the decline in some bird species does occur.
Why birds become less?
In the new study says nothing about the reasons for the decline in populations of birds. It was recognised, however, is habitat loss and degradation. It is the largest factors contributing to the reduction in the number of birds on the planet. Most affected grassland bird species. Because of the large amount of land was converted into agricultural land, planted non-native plants and contaminated with harmful pesticides, disappeared 700 million birds.
It is difficult to determine exactly how many birds die because of loss of habitat or due to the use of pesticides, the disappearance of insects or climate change. Other threats are easier to quantify. One of the biggest problems in today’s world — increase in the population of cats. Our four-legged friends is recognized by scientists as an invasive species — this means that cats on Earth became so numerous that they pose a serious threat to the environment — every year they kill approximately 2.4 billion birds.
This is interesting: Cats in Australia kill a billion animals a year. How does it work?
But there are other reasons, including collisions with Windows kill 600 million birds, machines 214 million, power lines kill 32 million, and the fires of the industrial towers divert about 6 million birds every year. Scientists say that the disappearance of a large number of birds affected by all factors together.
According to experts, will require political will and action to fill the desolate sky. Restriction of the use of pesticides and the restriction of hunting could significantly improve the situation. Scientists believe that when people come together and take the necessary measures to reverse the decline of numbers of animals and to prevent a catastrophe.
What do you think, are there similar studies in our country?