Looks are one of the indicators of global warming. According to a global study, relayed by the English newspaper The Guardian, half of the 11,000 species of birds present on the globe would see their population decline. At the same time, only 6% of species would face an increase in the number of individuals.
The scientific study, published in the journal Annual Review of Environment and Resources, reveals that 3 billion birds have died in recent decades. A finding that only takes into account North America and Europe. According to the study, in these temperate and richer regions compared to the tropics, up to 48% of known species could see their populations drop, sometimes to extinction. If conservation actions exist in the direction of certain species, the study denounces the absence of general policy. She calls for broader funding to “reverse global decline”.
According to the NGO Birdlife International, birds should be seen as canaries “in the coal mine”. A reference to a practice in vogue in the 19th century which consisted in putting this bird with yellow feathers at the bottom of the mine. When fumes of poisonous gases were produced, the animal died. For Patricia Zurita, head of Birdlife International, birds are an “indicator of the health of our planet given their sensitivity to ecosystem changes and their ubiquity around the planet”.
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Aquatic species are doing better
Although she is largely pessimistic about the situation of these animals, a glimmer of hope is nevertheless put forward by the study. Thus, populations of aquatic birds have seen their numbers increase by 13% since 1970, according to scientists.
This census is far from being anecdotal. Indeed, good health of these species is necessary so that the ecosystem as we know it can continue to be the same. Birds are responsible, for example, for the dispersal of certain seeds. An essential contribution to ensure the reproduction of certain plants. At the same time, some birds are also very good predators and help regulate pest populations. If they were to disappear, it would therefore be a real upheaval in the functioning of our planet.
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