The number of sparrows in European homes has decreased by 247 million in nearly forty years, according to a recent study showing that many other bird species that spread in the 1980s have declined dramatically.
Prepared by the British RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), Birdlife International and the Czech Ornithological Society joint study Examined 378 out of 445 native bird species in European countries between 1980 and 2017. The data show that birds live much less today than they did forty years ago, with a decline of 17 to 19 percent. Compared to 1980, one in six European birds has disappeared from the continent, representing 600 million poets, a total of 900 million individuals.
The greatest loss was to domestic sparrows, with 247 million individuals less than forty years old today, and half of the total population has disappeared.
Of the common species, today there are 97 million fewer live yellow squirrels, 75 million live starlings, and 68 million live wildflowers. There are 30 million fewer field sparrows today, close relatives of house sparrows.
According to the study, changing agricultural and forest practices may play a role in the population decline, for example, by using some insecticides, herbicides and other pesticides to destroy the birds’ natural food. However, changes in agriculture do not play a big role in the life of domestic sparrows, since these birds are also common in cities. In their case, air pollution, reduced food intake and various infections such as avian malaria are suspected to be behind the sharp decline in the number of individuals of this species.
Although the loss is huge, population growth was recorded in 203 of the 378 species during the study period. That’s a total of 340 million birds, but two-thirds of them, 224 million individuals, come from eight species: friend’s tail, terns, bull’s-eye, black thrush, terns, robins, blue tits, and red pigeons.
In addition to the above, 11 predatory species have managed to double their numbers since 1980. These include the peregrine falcon, peregrine falcon, peregrine falcon, eagle, and bald eagle. True, these predators are rare, their flocks are more modest than any sparrow, so even with the multiplication of individuals, many do not live freely. Experts say predators have helped increase their numbers through increased protection and recovery projects and suppression of harmful pesticides, and they urge similar steps to protect wild birds.
According to the study’s authors, it is critical that the Convention on Biological Diversity be a major topic at next year’s United Nations meeting, as this is the only way to prevent species extinctions in the long term and restore some depleted species. population. Fiona Burns, Senior Researcher He told the Guardian newspaperClimate and natural crises can only be addressed together. This requires, according to Burns, an increase in the proportion of farmland that is environmentally friendly, sustainable management of forests and fisheries, more protected areas and stricter measures to ensure that the species are protected.
(Cover image: House Sparrow. Photo: Arterra/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)
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