Little Sparrow

Spring will be silent: "vertiginous" decline of country birds.

Start
The National Museum of Natural History and the CNRS are sounding the alarm: less than 60% of tawny sparrows in the last 10 years, a third of the skylarks that have disappeared in 15 years... Birds in the French countryside are victims of a "dizzying" decline, which has intensified even more in the last two years, according to new censuses. "The spring of 2018 promises to be silent in the French countryside," the two research institutions warned in a joint press release on Tuesday, March 20, estimating that "this decline is close to an ecological disaster.
 
En agricultural areas, bird populations have lost on average one third of their numbers in 15 years, as shown by the surveys conducted since 1989 by the "Temporal Monitoring of Common Birds" (Stoc), which, within the Museum, also monitors the situation in towns and forests.
 
"We're not taking a big risk by saying that agricultural practices are the cause of this accelerating decline, told AFP Grégoire Loïs, deputy director of Vigie-Nature, which oversees the Stoc, because birds do not decline at the same rate in other environments. "There's a slight decline in the rest of the territory, but nothing to see in terms of magnitude."he adds.
In agricultural areas, species such as the skylark, the whitethroat warbler or the ortolan sparrow have lost on average one individual in three in fifteen years. In Ile-de-France, the Turtle Dove is approaching -90%.
 
Another study, carried out by the CNRS since 1995 in the Deux-Sèvres region, on 160 areas of 10 ha of a cereal plain typical of French farmland, is driving home the point. "Bird populations are literally collapsing on the grain plains." says Vincent Bretagnolle, an ecologist at the Centre for Biological Studies in Chizé. "Partridges are almost extinct in our study area..."
According to this research, in 23 years, the lark has lost more than one out of three individuals (-35%), the grey partridge has lost eight out of ten individuals...
 

A collapse that is happening right before our eyes

"What is alarming is that all birds in the agricultural community are regressing at the same rate. This means that the overall quality of the agricultural ecosystem is deteriorating, analyzes the researcher. 
Large or small, migratory or not, all species are concerned, probably due to the collapse of insects.
"There's hardly any bugs left, that's the number one problem." underlines Mr. Bretagnolle.
Because even granivorous birds need insects at some point in the year for their chicks.
 
This massive disappearance is concomitant with the intensification of agricultural practices over the last 25 years, more particularly since 2008-2009, a period that corresponds to the end of fallow land imposed by the Common Agricultural Policy, the surge in wheat prices, the resumption of massive recourse to nitrate and the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides, add the CNRS and the Museum in their press release.
 
According to Mr Loïs, the situation is similar in Europe, particularly in the west of the continent.
According to two recent studies, Germany and Europe have lost 80% of flying insects and 421 million birds in 30 years.
 
French scientists wonder about the reasons for the "very strong acceleration" of this decline observed in 2016 and 2017, and at this stage, largely unexplained. This led them to issue this joint press release on Tuesday, without waiting to see their studies published in a scientific journal.
"It feels like there's some kind of collapse happening right in front of us...« said Mr. Lois. "Is this acceleration linked to the multiplication of factors? To a new harmful agricultural practice that has not yet been identified? Has a threshold been crossed?"
 
Is there any reason to fear a "silent spring", like the "silent spring" predicted by the famous American ecologist Rachel Carson 55 years ago about DDT, which has finally been banned? 
"If this situation is not yet irreversible, it is becoming urgent to work with all the players in the agricultural world, and first and foremost farmers, to speed up changes in practices", call the Museum and the CNRS.
 
Source: AFP
 

Anything to add? Say it as a comment.

Nous avons un message pour vous…

En octobre dernier nous avons pris l’engagement que UP’ Magazine accordera au dérèglement climatique, à l’extinction des espèces sauvages, à la pollution, à la qualité de notre alimentation et à la transition écologique l’attention et l’importance urgentes que ces défis exigent. Cet engagement s’est traduit par le partenariat de UP’ Magazine avec Covering Climate Now, une collaboration mondiale de 250 médias sélectionnés pour renforcer la couverture journalistique des enjeux climatiques.

Nous promettons de vous tenir informés des mesures que nous prenons pour nous responsabiliser à ce moment décisif de notre vie. La désinformation sur le climat étant monnaie courante, et jamais plus dangereuse qu’aujourd’hui, il est essentiel que UP’ Magazine publie des rapports précis et relaye des informations faisant autorité – et nous ne resterons pas silencieux.

Notre indépendance éditoriale signifie que nous sommes libres d’enquêter et de contester l’inaction de ceux qui sont au pouvoir. Nous informerons nos lecteurs des menaces qui pèsent sur l’environnement en nous fondant sur des faits scientifiques et non sur des intérêts commerciaux ou politiques. Et nous avons apporté plusieurs modifications importantes à notre expression éditoriale pour que le langage que nous utilisons reflète fidèlement, mais sans catastrophisme, l’urgence environnementale.

UP’ Magazine estime que les problèmes auxquels nous sommes confrontés dans le cadre de la crise climatique sont systémiques et qu’un changement sociétal fondamental est nécessaire. Nous continuerons à rendre compte des efforts des individus et des communautés du monde entier qui prennent courageusement position pour les générations futures et la préservation de la vie humaine sur terre. Nous voulons que leurs histoires inspirent l’espoir.

Nous espérons que vous envisagerez de nous soutenir aujourd’hui. Nous avons besoin de votre soutien pour continuer à offrir un journalisme de qualité, ouvert et indépendant. Chaque abonnement des lecteurs, quelle que soit sa taille, est précieux. Soutenez UP’ Magazine à partir d’1.90 € par semaine seulement – et cela ne prend qu’une minute. Merci de votre soutien.

Je m’abonne →

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
biodiversity
Previous article

A charter for integrating living beings into urban projects

Mountain plants
Next article

Plants are also migrating, driven by the acceleration of climate change.

Latest articles from Biodiversity

JOIN

THE CIRCLE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO UNDERSTAND OUR TIME OF TRANSITION, LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES AND ACT.
logo-UP-menu150

Already registered? I'm connecting

Inscrivez-vous et lisez three articles for free. Recevez aussi notre newsletter pour être informé des dernières infos publiées.

→ Register for free to continue reading.

JOIN

THE CIRCLE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO UNDERSTAND OUR TIME OF TRANSITION, LOOK AT THE WORLD WITH OPEN EYES AND ACT

You have received 3 free articles to discover UP'.

Enjoy unlimited access to our content!

From $1.99 per week only.
Share
Tweet
Share
WhatsApp
Email
Print