The United States and Canada have lost 3 billion birds in the last 50 years

The United States and Canada have lost 3 billion birds in the last 50 years

Science

Scientists claim that the United States and Canada have lost almost 3 billion birds since 1970. This amount is 29% of the bird population. This could also be a sign of an ecological crisis. In a study published by top ornithologists and government agencies, they say that even birds like sparrows and blackbirds which were very common in these regions have suffered a huge decline.

“They’re rare in Connecticut now. They’re rare in many places,” said Marra, now an ecologist who is the director of the Georgetown Environment Initiative. “It’s an empty feeling in your stomach that these same birds that you grew up with just aren’t there anymore.”

The research also shows that In the last 50 years the population of birds at the start of the breeding season in the United States and Canada has fallen from 10 billion to 7 billion. It is not just the birds but also several insects and amphibians are facing ecological decline. “We’re making the wrong moves now to sustain nature for the future, and this is an indication that nature is unravelling and that ecosystems are highly stressed,” said Mike Parr, president of the American Bird Conservancy and a co-author of the study. “Our generation is going to survive it, and probably the next generation will, but who knows where the tipping point is.”

The researchers believe that the major cause for the decline is because of the heavy use of pesticides and clearing of land. These animals and birds have lost their habitat because of encroachment.   In the past years, huge amounts of forest have been cleared for roads, buildings, and farms. Neonicotinoid insecticide has killed millions of insects, thus threating key food source of birds. The new findings also state that cats kill over 1 billion birds each year in the United States.  Researchers say that even though climate change has played only a small role in the current situation, this might become a big threat in the coming years.