Scientists says that land development, pollution and climate change are all to blame for the decline in U.S. bird populations.
Scientists claim more than a third of North America’s birds could face extinction if significant action is not taken.
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative studied bird populations in Mexico, Canada and the U.S to measure their vulnerability. The results showed 37 percent of all 1,154 species needed urgent conservation action as reported in The Washington Post.
Christian Artuso, a biologist with Bird Studies Canada and director of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, believes urgent action is required immediately if we are to save the bird populations.
“These birds link us, they unite us, and we have a joint and shared reasonability towards them and toward the environments they are intimately tied in with, so it requires an [international] collaboration,” stated Artuso. “This will come back to bite us if we don’t deal with it while we still have a chance.”
The most at risk are ocean and tropical forest species who face a threat to their habitats and the researchers put it down to the effects of pollution, predators and even climate change.
According to CBC News, nearly one billion birds have disappeared from the continent since the beginning of the seventies and more will disappear if nothing is done about it. The researchers of the study are finding solutions to protect migratory ocean birds in particular by expanding marine-protected areas, managing plastic pollution while grassland species need to be protected from land developments.
Charles Francis, manager of bird population monitoring with the Canadian Wildlife Service says that while the report is alarming, he hopes that it will inspire change into ways to protect our native bird populations forever.
“We did not want to have a report that said, ‘There’s disasters everywhere; we need to fix it’ without providing solutions, and without providing evidence that if we put our minds together and work on those solutions we can actually achieve success.”
Read the full report here.