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Study reveals that migratory birds are in decline due to human action and climate change

Migratory birds are in “great decline” around the world, due to landscape modification by humans, hunting and climate change, warns a study published today.

Under the responsibility of the British University of East Anglia (UEA), with the collaboration of Portuguese universities, the study now released indicates that the decline in populations has been greater in species that migrate to areas with more human infrastructure (such as roads, houses, power lines, or windmills), with more people and higher levels of hunting.

Habitat degradation, the study notes, has also contributed to the long-term decline in migratory birds, in addition to climate change.

The researchers identified 16 human-induced threats to migratory birds, including disturbance and collision of birds with infrastructure, or conversion of land to human use.

103 species of migratory birds were studied, including rapidly declining species such as the turtledove and the common cuckoo. And variables such as habitat loss or climate change were calculated, in breeding sites and other areas, as well as trends in bird populations.

Claire Buchan, from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said, quoted in a university statement: “We have found that human landscape modification in bird ranges in Europe, Africa and West Asia is associated with the decrease in the number of more than 100 birds. – Eurasian migratory birds.

The official stressed that the exposure of birds to threats of “direct mortality”, such as being electrocuted, hunted or even run over by a vehicle, in the wintering areas, is reflected in the decrease in the population of breeding birds.

According to the study authors, identifying the places where birds are most exposed can help make decisions to prevent the greatest dangers.

The University of Porto and the University of Lisbon, and the Czech Ornithological Society (Czech Republic) also participated in the research.

Source: Observadora

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