Decline in bird population
Thursday, 16th July, 2015
Some of Australia’s best-loved birds, including the kookaburra and magpie, are declining in some regions, according to a new report.
The 2015 State of Australia’s Birds report, part of the nation’s most comprehensive series tracking bird populations and health, is “a wakeup call”, according to Paul Sullivan, BirdLife Australia CEO.
“We’ve known for some time that many rare bird populations are declining but we were not aware of the decline of these very common and iconic Australian birds,” Mr Sullivan said.
In the Arid Zone, which spans almost five million square kilometres including Alice Springs and Broome, fewer birds of prey were found.
“Most surprising, this report shows declining numbers in common bird species like the willy wagtail, kookaburra and magpie-lark,” Mr Sullivan said.
“This data is a wakeup call. BirdLife Australia and the scientific community will now look at what is causing decline of common species numbers.”
The data in the report is collected by bird-lovers all around the nation.
Volunteers use standardised methods to monitor bird species in their own local areas and contribute their findings to the Index.
“Since 1998 this army of volunteers have amassed over 14 million records and more than 900,000 surveys,” Mr Sullivan said.
“That is a truly unique accomplishment and contribution to global bird conservation.
“Similar indexes in Europe, Canada and the US show us it is possible to set up a baseline and act early to reduce biodiversity loss.”