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Europe faces ‘biodiversity oblivion’ after collapse in French birds, experts warn


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The “catastrophic” decline in French farmland birds signals a wider biodiversity crisis in Europe which ultimately imperils all humans, leading scientists have told the Guardian. A dramatic fall in farmland birds such as skylarks, whitethroats and ortolan bunting in France was revealed by two studies this week, with the spread of neonicotinoid pesticides – and decimation of insect life – coming under particular scrutiny. With intensive crop production encouraged by the EU’s common agricultural policy apparently driving the bird declines, conservationists are warning that many European countries are facing a second “silent spring” – a term coined by the ecologist Rachel Carson to describe the slump in bird populations in the 1960s caused by pesticides. “We’ve lost a quarter of skylarks in 15 years. It’s huge, it’s really, really huge. If this was the human population, it would be a major thing,” said Dr Benoit Fontaine of France’s National Museum of Natural History and co-author of one of the new studies, a national survey of France’s common birds. “We are turning our farmland into a desert. We are losing everything and we need that nature, that biodiversity – the agriculture needs pollinators and the soil fauna. Without that, ultimately, we will die.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/21/europe-faces-biodiversity-oblivion-after-collapse-in-french-bird-populations

Posted by on Mar 22 2018. Filed under News Worldwide, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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