Today, Europe is home to 421 million fewer birds than 30 years ago, and current environmental management seems incapable of checking what can only be described as the carnage of many species still commonly found until recently, according to a study published on Monday in the scientific journal, Ecology Letters. This alarming decrease in the European ornithological fauna is a result of modern farming techniques and the loss of birds’ habitat.
“This warning applies across all species of European fauna. The way we manage the environment is unsustainable for our most common species,” indicated co-leader of the study, Richard Gregory, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
A decline of up to 90% was recorded in species as common as the grey partridge, the skylark, the sparrow and the starling. Meanwhile, some rare species of birds have seen their numbers increase during the same period, thanks to conservation measures, according to the study.
Scientists, who recommend the rapid implementation of new agricultural practices and for green spaces to be set up in urban areas, analysed data on 144 species of birds from 25 European countries, collected, in general, by volunteer bird watchers.