Saturday, March 21, 2009

'Disappearing Birds'

Source: The Washington Post

"Habitat loss has sent many bird species into decline across the United States."

State of the Birds Report

Comment: I don't really know what this graph means. There are good trends -- wetlands and all birds in the last decade. There are trends of concern in grasslands and arid lands. However, we need to balance the needs for agricultural production with the concern to maintain a healthy environment. Converting some grasslands and arid lands to agriculture would be expected to reduce the populations of birds living in natural grasslands and arid lands. The question is whether the decrease in bird populations is excessive.

Probably the recovery in the past decade is testimony to better pesticide application policies. Don't get too comfortable with that. As global population increases by another three billion, and as people eat more meat, there will be social and economic pressures to increase agricultural production and the birds may suffer! JAD

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