A billion birds have disappeared from North America since 1970, and a third of fowl species throughout the continent are threatened with extinction, a brand new report says.
The first State of North America’s Birds report finds that of 1,154 fowl species that stay in and migrate amongst Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, 432 are of “high concern” resulting from low or declining populations, shrinking ranges and threats reminiscent of human-caused habitat loss, invasive predators and local weather change.
Steven Price, president of Bird Studies Canada, a member of the North American Bird Initiative behind the report, says that since 1970, “the estimate is we’ve lost at least a billion birds from North America…. The trend lines are continuing down. They have to be turned around or will fall below a threshold where they can be recovered.”
Most threatened, with greater than half the species of “high concern” are ocean birds reminiscent of northern gannets, tropical and sub-tropical birds, together with many who breed in Canada and the U.S., however winter in Mexico.
There are additionally steep declines in coastal shorebirds like semipalmated and western sandpipers and purple knots, which have misplaced 90 per cent of their inhabitants; grassland birds such because the larger sage grouse, Sprague’s pipit and chestnut-collared longspur; and aridland birds.
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative is a collaboration of conservation teams and scientists, in all three international locations. The report was launched partly to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Migratory Bird Convention between Canada and the U.S. Information in the report relies on information collected by citizen scientists by way of fowl surveys and counts because the 1970s and analyzed over the previous 18 months.
It follows an identical report that centered on Canada in 2012 and located a 12 per cent drop in fowl populations since 1970. But as a result of many birds make very lengthy migrations, Canada’s birds are “not really Canada’s — they’re shared across three nations,” mentioned Price.