Conservation of Avian Species

Many species of common grassland birds have declined by more than 50% over the last 40 years, and some species, such as the eastern meadowlark, have decreased by 72% (McCleery, 2015). North American analyses indicate that grassland birds as a group are declining faster than birds from other biomes (Mineau, 2013). There are many different factors that play into the reason of bird declines in past years such as pesticide use, agriculture, land changes and climate changes. The most detrimental to the decline in my opinion is the destruction of natural habitats due to human activities and uninformed people about conservation.

I hypothesis that birds will continue to decline if there is not more effort put into the conservation of avian species.

First, I want to go more in depth of the different causes of the decline of birds. The loss of grassland birds appears to correspond with the loss of habitat at both breeding and wintering grounds, as well as with pesticide use (McCleery, 2015). In a study done in 2013 it was revealed that the use of lethally toxic insecticides cannot be ignored when trying to identify causes of grassland population declines in North America (Mineau, 2013).

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Accelerated climate change and the destruction of natural habitats through direct human activities are two of the greatest threats to terrestrial biodiversity (Jetz, 2007).

In recent decades, they have led to substantial range contractions and species extinctions (Jetz, 2007). Also In my own opinion, the continuing development of urbanizing forests and wildlife habits for the benefit of people who are just out for money are severely contributing to the decline of not only birds but other wildlife as well.

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A lot of people either just do not care about the conservation of wildlife or are undereducated about the issues. These are just a few examples of the contributing factors of the decline of birds.

Now I want to go into some detail the different conservation attempts that have been made so far. There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife (McCleery, 2015). I think that this is actually a really good idea because the world is just going to keep developing and more roads will be built so why not use the resources we still have for conservation. In their studies over this topic they surveyed different road sizes along with how much traffic on each road.

The six categories they studied were large roads with high traffic, large roads with medium traffic, and small roads with low traffic. Their results were that roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased ROW width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increased ROW width (McCleery, 2015).

Other factors also played a part in the increase of avian richness like the height of non-woody vegetation and also the availability of a perch. It has been well established in conservation biology that the conservation potential of patches of remnant vegetation increases with increased size (McCleery 2015). The larger the patch size the more avian richness and less likely for roads to play a factor in the rapid rate of bird decline. In spite of that, trying to find large enough patches of vegetation to have a significant impact on wildlife conservation is hard to find in areas dominated by rigorous agriculture.

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Conservation of Avian Species. (2021, Dec 14). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/conservation-of-avian-species-essay

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