Whether white Wagtail, meadow Pipit, smoke or swallow: The number of insects living birds have declined in the past 25 years in Europe. According to a in the journal Conservation Biology published the study, they decreased by an average of 13 percent.

the scientists at The Senckenberg biodiversity and climate research centre and the German centre for integrative biodiversity research the result of this development is not alone on the insects die, but also, in particular, on changes in the agricultural landscapes. On Fields, meadows and pastures had reduced the Bird populations.

“It is probably a mixture of many things: loss of insects, and thus food shortages, loss of hedgerows and, thus, squares, surface sealing brood,” said Katrin Böhning-gaeste the hosts, Director of the Senckenberg biodiversity and climate research centre and one of the authors of the study. In the case of the insect-eating farmland birds the decline is very much stronger than in the case of the insect-eating forest birds.

the strong use of plant protection products also play a role. More and more hedgerows, field margins and Fallow land have been lost with the Trend to a large area of cultivated mono-cultures, and many meadows and pastures were converted into arable land. Thus, it would be for the Insectivores harder and harder to find food and breeding places. Cold-loving species were in addition, as a result of climate change under pressure.

Industrial agriculture

birds are indicators for an industrial agriculture, with its negative effects on biodiversity, said Böhning-gaeste the hosts. But you could on many levels. “This starts with the agricultural policy in Brussels, on the planning decisions of local authorities to the promotion of Organic agriculture and local marketing of biodiversity-friendly produced food and the willingness of consumers to pay more for such food to pay for it.”

About half of all bird species in Europe feeds on insects. However, the insect-eaters according to the study, is not the same everywhere bad: In most habitats, only went back tents types.

erschreckendere Figures had called two months ago, the nature conservation organization Nabu (naturschutzbund Deutschland), with reference to a census of the European Bird Census Council. After that, the field had gone back to the birds in the years 1980 to 2017, Europe, 56 percent. However, the time differ of the two counts. In addition, were recorded in the earlier study is not only an insect-eater, but also seed eaters.

The Nabu calls for effective management plans for protection areas for birds, and the consistent pursuit of the hunting of songbirds in the Mediterranean. The European bird protection Directive, the on 2. April will be 40 years old, had not yet fully implemented, said Nabu CEO Leif Miller.


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