Saturday 03 December 2022

10 bird species could disappear without action to preserve habitats

The black tailed godwit. Photo: Ellywa via Wikimedia Commons

At least 10 different types of birds are on the verge of dying out in the Netherlands and nine have already done so because of the destruction of their habitats, according to bird protection group Vogelbescherming.

The organisation says in a new book that variety of bird species living in urban areas, dunes and marshland has gone down enormously since the 1950s. In particular, changes in the farm landscape and the use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers are having an impact.

If no changes are made, the first bird to disappear could be the European turtle dove, the lobby group says. The European turtle dove population in the Netherlands has fallen by 90% since the 1950s.

The black-tailed godwit or grutto, voted the Netherlands’ national bird in 2015, is also on the danger list. In the 1960s, there were over 125,000 breeding pairs of godwits in the Netherlands but their number has now slumped to below 40,000.

The book’s main author Robert Kwak said that much can be done to improve habitats for birds. ‘But we should not waste time, and not just focus on nature reserves,’ he said. ‘We can also book success in towns and cities and in farming areas by taking focused measures which boost the quality of our nature.’

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