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Is a drop in bird population a sign of biodiversity crisis?

September 23, 2008 | 12:37 pm

Malay_fish_owlet

If you are worried about the planet's bird population, Reuters has a report for you:

Many of the world's most common birds suffered steep population drops over recent decades, a sign of a deteriorating global environment and a biodiversity crisis, BirdLife International said on Monday.

"Birds provide an accurate and easy-to-read environmental barometer, allowing us to see clearly the pressures our current way of life are putting on the world's biodiversity," said Mike Rands, chief executive of the alliance of conservation groups.

Threats to bird populations include intensified industrial-scale agriculture and fishing, the spread of invasive species, logging and the replacement of natural forest with monoculture plantations, the group said in a report released in Buenos Aires.

However, Rands said that over the long term, climate change may pose the most serious stress on birds.

Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

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