The extinction risk for 40 bird species rose in the past few years, reveals the red list established by UICN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and broadcast by Natuurpunt. Turtle doves, lapwings and oystercatchers are all threatened in our country.
“There used to be many turtle doves in Western Europe in the summer, but numbers are down by at least 30% around the world in the past 16 years. The species is now listed as vulnerable,” highlights Gerald Driessens, from Natuurpunt. “In several countries including Belgium, population loss reaches 90% or more. This is due to several factors, such as the use of chemical herbicides and the scarcity of adequate breeding grounds, as well as hunting.”
Lapwings, like many other species based in rural areas, suffer because of intensive farming. Only 2 hatchlings were registered in a group of 300 lapwings 2 months ago, says Gerald Driessens. “If a whole generation disappears, we will not see” these birds again. Predators are another threat.
The disappearance of oystercatchers is mainly linked to overfishing, according to Birdlide, which presents the red list for birds, but also to pollution, wind farms, and intensive farming. The white-backed vulture is in a particularly critical situation worldwide.