‘Red list’ report finds 30% of native species in decline due to loss of habitat, intensive farming and climate crisis

The common swift, common snipe and rook are among species slipping towards extinction in Europe, according to the continent’s latest “red list” report, which finds that one in five bird species is now at risk, the Guardian reports.

From the Azores in the west to the Ural mountains in the east, birds that have been the cornerstones of European ecosystems are disappearing, according to the BirdLife International analysis, which is based on observations of 544 native bird species. Three species have become regionally extinct in Europe since the last report in 2015 – Pallas’s sandgrouse, common buttonquail and pine bunting.

In total, 30% of species assessed are showing population decline, according to observations from thousands of experts and volunteers working in 54 countries and territories. At a European level, 13% of birds are threatened with extinction and a further 6% are near threatened. “The results are alarming but we are not surprised,” said Anna Staneva, interim head of conservation, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia.

Key trends echo findings from the three previous publications of the red list, in 1994, 2004 and 2015, showing declines continuing unabated. The data is based on millions of observations made since 1980. “We’re running out of time, the clock is ticking. We don’t want to see the dramatic changes we’re seeing now happening in the next five or 10 years,” said Staneva.

 

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