Barn owl, by David Mitchell
Barn owl, by David Mitchell

49% of the world’s bird species are in decline, according to the latest State of the World’s Birds report by BirdLife International. 12% of species are threatened with extinction.

Pressures on birds include:

  • expansion and intensification of agriculture
  • logging
  • invasive species
  • exploitation of natural resources
  • climate breakdown

If heatwaves, droughts, wildfires and floods continue, they will lead to widespread extinctions.

North American has lost 29% of its birds (2.9 billion individuals) since 1970. 19% of European birds (600 million) have been lost since 1980, and there has been a 57% drop in European farmland bird numbers.

‘We have to stop these declines and start getting on track for recovery. Our future, as well as the world’s birds, depends on it. If we continue to unravel the fabric of life, we’re going to continue to place our own future at threat.’

dr stuart butchart, chief scientist at birdlife international
Half the World’s Bird Species in Decline

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