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Over 30 Years of Research Unveils Leading Cause of Bird Population Decline in Europe

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A new study has found that the increase in the use of pesticides and fertilizers on agricultural land has been the main reason for the decline in the number of many species of birds in Europe.

Using data from 28 countries over a 37-year period, the researchers found that the total number of common bird species on the continent has declined by 25%.

And the types of agricultural land have experienced a strong deterioration, since since the beginning of the research, for the period from 1980 to 2016, they have decreased by more than half (56.8%). urban areas by 28%, while northern birds preferring coolness decreased by 40%, and southern birds preferring warmth increased by 17%.

A collaborative study of more than 50 researchers, published in the journal PNAS, found that modern intensive farming practices using pesticides and fertilizers are to blame for the declining bird populations on the continent.

Birds that ate insects, such as sumac, spring wagtail, and spotted minke whale, fared worse.

The researchers also found a direct link between bird population decline and other anthropogenic impacts such as deforestation, urbanization and warming due to climate change.

James Haywood, National Organizer of the Nesting Bird Study, said: “The decline in bird numbers on farmland across Europe is one of the notable observations of this study, in particular how widespread it is. It also highlights how small the amount of forest the UK maintains in comparison c “However, the study shows that even a small increase in forest cover can mask other changes, especially in the quality and nature of forests.”

Source: Independent

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