"Intensive Farming Is Biggest Cause Of Bird Decline In Europe, Study Says"

"Use of pesticides and fertilisers identified as most significant factor behind loss of 550 million birds from skies".

"The use of pesticides and fertilisers in intensive agriculture is the biggest cause of the dwindling number of birds in the UK and the rest of Europe, scientists have said.

Compared with a generation ago, 550 million fewer birds fly over the continent, with their decline well documented. But until now the relative importance of various pressures on bird populations was not known.

A team of more than 50 researchers, analysing data collected by thousands of citizen scientists in 28 countries over nearly four decades, found that it is intensive agriculture, above all, that is behind the decline in the continent’s bird populations.

They found the number of wild birds of all kinds across the continent has fallen by more than a quarter since 1980, but that this decline deepened to more than half among farmland species."

Damien Gayle reports for the Guardian May 15, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 05/16/2023