Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · Bird species hit hard
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Bird species hit hard

- July 26th, 2007
A new analysis by the National Audubon Society reveals that some of America’s most familiar birds have taken a nosedive over the past 40 years, with some populations down as much as 80%.
The dramatic declines are attributed to the loss of grasslands, forests, wetlands, and other critical habitats from environmental threats such as sprawl, energy development, and the spread of industrialized agriculture. These threats are compounded by the escalating effects of global warming.
“These are not rare or exotic birds we’re talking about—these are the birds that visit our feeders and congregate at nearby lakes and seashores and yet they are disappearing day by day,” said Audubon chair and former EPA administrator, Carol Browner. “Their decline tells us we have serious work to do, from protecting local habitats to addressing the huge threats from global warming.”
Species on Audubon’s list of 20 Common Birds in Decline have seen their populations plummet at least 54% since 1967. The following are among those hardest hit:
• Northern Bobwhite populations are down 82% and have largely vanished from northern parts of their range in Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and New England.
• Evening Grosbeaks, down nearly 78%.
• Northern Pintail populations in the continental U.S. are down nearly 78% due.
• Greater Scaup populations that breed in Alaska, but winter in the Great Lakes and along Atlantic to Pacific Coasts are being hard hit by global warming induced melting of permafrost and invasion of southern species; populations are down 75%.
• Eastern Meadowlarks, down 71%, are declining as grasslands are lost to agriculture.
• Common Terns, have dropped 70%.
• Snow Buntings, which breed in Alaska and northern Canada, are down 64%.
• Rufous Hummingbird populations have declined 58% as a result of the loss of forest habitat to logging and development.
• Whip-poor-wills, down 57%.
• Little Blue Herons now number 150,000 in the U.S. and 110,000 in Mexico, down 54% in the U.S. Their decline is driven by wetland loss from development and degradation of water quality, which limits their food supply.
Agricultural and development pressures have driven grassland birds to some of the worst declines. “Direct habitat loss continues to be a leading cause for concern,” said Audubon Bird Conservation Director Greg Butcher, PhD. “But now we’re seeing the added impact of large-scale environmental problems and policies.”
 
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