Posted by: aboutbirds | October 18, 2009

Migratory Bird Declines

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Over the past few decades, bird migration has been shown to be declining. Migratory songbirds in Europe migrate from the UK down to sub-Saharan Africa. These songbirds include the common cuckoo, European turtle-dove, common nightingale, and the spotted flycatcher. The organizations that have taken on the role to research the declines are BirdLife in the UK (RSPB), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Ghana Wildlife Society, Naturama in Burkina Faso, Vogelbescherming Nederland of the Netherlands, and Dansk Ornitologisk Forening of Denmark. These organizations hope to document the birds on their journey down to Africa and to understand why they are declining.

Recent research has shown that about 40% of the migratory species in Europe and Africa have declined in the last few decades. Also, some of these species are threatened on the IUCN Red List. Climate change, changes in rainfall, and land degradation are all apart of the most likely reason the migrants have declining populations. Also, human encroachment on important habitats is also an issue that can possibly be difficult to address.

The organizations involved will be banding birds and tracking their progress. The declining populations of migrants is an issue that needs to be addressed now if it is going to be reversed, otherwise Europe may lose a lot of its common species.

Click here for the full article.

Pictured: Spotted flycatcher

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