Bird Die Off

Just one more indicator of the handbasket taking us all to hell.

Nearly half of the world’s waterbird species are in decline, mostly due to rapid economic development and the effects of climate change, according to a global survey released Tuesday.

Waterbirds in Decline

Birds and many species can rebound spectacularly under normal conditions. In the drought of 1977 in the Galapagos on the island of Daphne Major the population of finches fell from 1,400 to 300. When the rains returned in December of 1977, after several breeding seasons, the population returned to pre-drought size, though with variations in beak-size as the breeders tired to compensate for the change in food supply.

What is worrisome about the world-wide decrease in water fowl population is that it is not due to random or transient causes — a drought that will be replaced by rain. Human development and loss of habitat — the prime reasons for the decline — are not going to be reversed soon. Though it is instructive that in parts of Europe and North America, where knowledge is being applied, habitats are being set aside, and restored and bird populations have stabilized in recent years.

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