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A staggering 400 million birds have vanished from Europe since 1980

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Reports www.washingtonpost.com

 

In a disturbing new study with overtones of Rachel Carson's famous environmental book Silent Spring, a group of scientists from the U.K. and the Czech Republic report a stunning decline in the number of Europe's birds since 1980. The birds vanishing are actually members of the most common species -- including sparrows, starlings, and skylarks.

 

To read the full article click here.

 

Habitat loss? Domestic/feral cats? Trapping and killing of migratory species? Pesticides?

 

What can we, as individuals do in our gardens?

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"The study also notes that precisely because these declines are in common species, they are more likely to be indicators of environmental degradation. "Common species are widespread and their numbers are linked to the deterioration of the quality of the environment on a landscape scale," notes the paper."

 

We can make a small difference in gardens - but much agricultural land is lifeless - few insects and other invertebrates to support bird-life

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We can plant at least some plants that attract insects or provide berries, provide supplemental food all year, join the RSPB or the BTO or Wildlife Trusts if in the UK, and lobby government to stress the importance of the environment.but the biggest problem is farm land and the decline in birds in that area, with use of pesticides and intensive farming.Farmers can and often do work well with nature-they could do with a little incentive.Some migratory species are hit -literally-by illegal hunting in Malta ( the main culprit) and other countries, and environmental problems just south of the sahara where a lot of the birds that breed in the Uk spend the non breeding season.the decline in sparrows in UK cities has long been known-the cause is more tricky-it relates to not enough insects to feed the young-especialy second broods. Some really interesting satallite tracking is being done by the BTO-for example on cuckoos.but if we don't tell governments that we think its important, then they will make short term decisions !

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An appalling situation.

 

Though i think the sparrows, starlings (both pest species in OZ) & skylarks have moved to Australia.

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I live in Tasmania...and all wildlife including the birds you mention above are looked upon as pests in all of Australia..The only pests my friend are the human race sorry to say..

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Posted (edited)

Window strikes and communication tower strikes are also huge killers of birds. In addition to cellphones, all those wireless Internet devices and the communication towers they require kill untold numbers of birds each year.

 

A disgusting number of non-game migratory birds are also unsustainable shot, netted, caught on glue sticks, etc. in places like Malta, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and Italy. The EU's hands are by no means clean on this - they should be doing much more to control such activity in member countries.

Edited by offshorebirder

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