September 17, 2016

North America has lost more than 15 billion birds over past four decades

Eco Watch - North America has lost more than 1.5 billion birds over the past 40 years, says the most comprehensive survey of landbird populations in Canada and the U.S. to date, and 86 species are threatened with total extinction—all thanks to human-caused habitat destruction and climate change.

"Among those 86 species, 22 have already lost at least half of their population since 1970 and are projected to lose another 50 percent of their numbers within the next 40 years," reported the Canadian Press. "For at least six species, this 'half-life' window is fewer than 20 years."


Anonymous said...

How about cats? -- according to the review article in the current "The NY Review of Books" [LXIII, no. 14 pp. 34-35] they are responsible for, annually, four billion birds.

bc, thinks killing the cats will be more effective than anything else.

Anonymous said...

5:26, You are really laying a lot of blame on cats, that should rightly be put on humans.

Killing off cats won't aid the birds that are dying because of all the insecticides used on crops that kill off the insects those birds eat, which is a documented cause of bird declines. Killing cats won't change all the habitat loss, especially wet lands, where many species of birds breed, feed, and shelter during migration, another well documented cause of bird decline. Killing off cats won't help the whooping crane or the condor. Killing off cats won't do anything to help all the birds who collide with windows of high rise buildings and die as they fall to the ground, or stick in place. The modern world has plenty of hazards for birds that have nothing to do with cats.

Killing off cats has led to bubonic plague.

I have cats, and as part of my large organic garden, they do a great job of rodent control. Since I know that cats will kill small birds if given the opportunity, I do a few things to improve the chances for my local birds. I have many different water sources for small birds that my cats can't get to. I keep bird feeders filled and active year round to insure my local birds are well fed and better able to raise their offspring effectively. I put up bird houses and build safe nesting sites to assist my local birds in raising their families in secure locations. I choose plants that offer shelter and food to birds for my yard. Doing these things for years has led to a large and varied bird population in my yard, despite my having cats too. Cats kill birds, but they don't do half the harm that habitat destruction or insecticides do to bird populations.