Wildlife

Disappearing Birds

Pollution, habitat loss and environmental degradation have led to North America’s bird population plunging by 2.9 billion since 1970, a new report says.

Writing in the journal Science, scientists say the greatest losses have occurred among species that live in grasslands, such as blackbirds, finches, sparrows and warblers. Their populations dropped by around 53% over the past half-century while overall bird losses were about 29%.

“Birds are the quintessential indicators of environmental health, the canaries in the coal mine, and they’re telling us it’s urgent to take action to ensure our planet can continue to sustain wildlife and people,” said co-author Peter Marra.

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