PerspectiveConservation

Migratory birds under threat

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 547-548
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6647

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Summary

The populations of migratory bird species that breed in Europe and overwinter in sub-Saharan Africa are declining considerably faster than those of nonmigratory resident species or of migratory species that overwinter in Europe (1). Likely factors are habitat changes due to changes in land use, illegal killing and taking along the northern African coasts, and climate-induced changes in timing of migration and breeding. However, not only European trans-Saharan migrants are declining fast. This holds also for North American long-distance migrants wintering in Central and South America. To halt these declines, preservation of remaining habitats and restoration of habitats both at breeding and nonbreeding grounds is essential, as well as stopping illegal killing and taking of birds along their migration routes.

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