Intensive farming is biggest cause of bird decline in Europe, study says

| May 24, 2023 | Leave a Comment

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Date of Publication: May 15

Year of Publication: 2023

Publication City: London, UK

Publisher: The Guardian

Author(s): Damien Gayle

Use of pesticides and fertilisers identified as most significant factor behind loss of 550 million birds from skies

The use of pesticides and fertilisers in intensive agriculture is the biggest cause of the dwindling number of birds in the UK and the rest of Europe, scientists have said.

Compared with a generation ago, 550 million fewer birds fly over the continent, with their decline well documented. But until now the relative importance of various pressures on bird populations was not known. A team of more than 50 researchers, analysing data collected by thousands of citizen scientists in 28 countries over nearly four decades, found that it is intensive agriculture, above all, that is behind the decline in the continent’s bird populations.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined how 170 bird species had responded to four widespread manmade pressures, including agricultural intensification, forest cover change, urbanisation and the climate crisis.

Read the full article here and/or download the original study from the link above.

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