Report

Decline of the North American avifauna

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Science  04 Oct 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6461, pp. 120-124
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1313

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Staggering decline of bird populations

Because birds are conspicuous and easy to identify and count, reliable records of their occurrence have been gathered over many decades in many parts of the world. Drawing on such data for North America, Rosenberg et al. report wide-spread population declines of birds over the past half-century, resulting in the cumulative loss of billions of breeding individuals across a wide range of species and habitats. They show that declines are not restricted to rare and threatened species—those once considered common and wide-spread are also diminished. These results have major implications for ecosystem integrity, the conservation of wildlife more broadly, and policies associated with the protection of birds and native ecosystems on which they depend.

Science, this issue p. 120

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