Bird population in Europe falls by 600 million









600 million bird have been lost

247 million fewer sparrows

97 million fewer wagtails

75 million fewer starling

House sparrow population has halved since 1980


The number of sparrows living in Europe has halved to 247million over the last 40 years according to a new study by the RSPB, Czech Society for Ornithology and BirdLife International.

They also found that 600 million breeding birds have been lost in total, which amounts to one in six of all birds. There are now 97 million fewe wagtails, 75 million fewer startlings and 68 million fewer skylarks.

What could have caused the population of many common bird species declined so drastically? Well, several reasons. The use of pesticides has caused a decline in the number of insects, which are a large food source for small birds, and the destruction of insect and bird habitats has had an effect too. Pollution and disease are thought to have had an impact too.

Fiona Burns, RSPB Senior Conservation Scientist and lead author of the study said: “Our study is a wake-up call to the very real threat of extinctions and of a Silent Spring.

“We need transformative action across society to tackle the nature and climate crises together. That means increasing the scale and ambition of nature-friendly farming, species protection, sustainable forestry and fisheries, and rapidly expanding the protected area network.”

Anna Staneva, BirdLife Europe Interim Head of Conservation said: “This report loudly and clearly shows that nature is sounding the alarm. While protecting birds that are already rare or endangered has resulted in some successful recoveries, this doesn’t seem to be enough to sustain the populations of abundant species.

“Common birds are becoming less and less common, largely because the spaces they depend on are being wiped out by humans. Nature has been eradicated from our farmland, sea and cities. Governments across all of Europe must establish legally binding targets for nature restoration, otherwise, the consequences will be severe, including for our own species.”


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