Rainforests are felled. Woodlots become parking lots. With so much habitat loss, is it any wonder many bird species are in decline?
The habitat loss story repeats itself in endless variations. A Cerulean Warbler's habitat is replaced by a mining operation. A Golden Eagle's hunting grounds become a gauntlet of wind turbines. A flock of migratory Red Knots stops at a familiar spot and finds it short of food.
Sweeping Scale of Habitat Loss
These are the impacts of habitat loss and poor habitat management, often unnoticed but in fact the biggest cause of bird declines. Over the past 150 years, as the world has industrialized and the human population has soared past 7 billion, our landscapes have changed dramatically:
- The equivalent of 130 Yellowstone National Parks—more than 290 million acres—of grasslands have been converted to agriculture in North America, impacting species like Long-billed Curlew.
- Millions of public and private range-lands, including arid habitats occupied by the imperiled Greater Sage-Grouse, have been damaged by overgrazing.
- More than 85 percent of the globally threatened birds in Latin America, including Stresemann's Bristlefront, have been impacted by large-scale logging and agricultural operations.
Save Habitat, Save Birds
To stabilize bird populations and prevent extinctions, it's critical that we find the most effective ways to save habitat and influence best management practices. Fortunately, these are some of the things ABC does best.