Oct 7, 2013

The canary in the global mineshaft [feedly]

International Union for Conservation of Nature - Declines in birds across the globe are providing evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment that is affecting all life on earth – including people. However, birds also tell us that saving the planet comes at a relatively small price – an investment that's vital to secure our own future.

The status of the world's birds continues to get worse with many species slipping towards extinction and others in steep decline. Birds are facing threats on many fronts but habitat destruction and degradation, owing to changes in agriculture, as well as direct impacts from invasive species are the major causes. However, birds also provide a lens through which we can view all nature.

"Birds provide an accurate and easy to read environmental barometer that allows us to see clearly the pressures our current way of life are putting on the world's biodiversity", said Dr Leon Bennun, BirdLife's Director of Science, Information and Policy. ...

The positive message from the report is that conservation works. Where threats are tackled through focused interventions, conservation can succeed. Some species have been brought back from the brink of extinction in spectacular fashion and degraded habitats can be restored.

"Effective nature conservation is affordable and it works. It's time to make it happen. The result will be a world that is in every way wealthier and healthier – and that remains diverse and beautiful too," concluded Dr Bennun.

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