Target: Janez Potočnik, European Union Commissioner for the Environment
Goal: Act swiftly to conserve dwindling wild bird populations in Europe
Wild bird populations in Europe have experienced a shocking 20 percent decline in the past 30 years. Experts estimate that around 421 million birds have been lost in the past three decades, due to modern farming methods and habitat damage. Scientists studied 144 species of bird from 25 European countries and found disturbing declines in populations of some of the most common birds, including grey partridges, skylarks, sparrows, and starlings, which have declined in population by up to 90 percent.
The study concluded that today’s environment is unsuitable to sustain many common and essential European birds, and further declines in bird populations could have a detrimental effect on human society. Birds reduce populations of insects and other pests, and can help plant life by spreading seeds to new areas. Researchers recommended immediate action in order to avoid further damage to Europe’s natural ecosystems, suggesting environmental rehabilitation measures such as the creation of sanctuary areas and a move towards ecologically friendly farming methods.
The study has shown that some rarer birds have benefited greatly from conservation efforts, suggesting that it’s not too late to save declining bird species. With help from politicians, lawmakers, and business owners, Europe can reverse the damage done to native bird species. Sign the petition below to demand that action is quickly taken by European Union countries to preserve avian life in Europe.
Dear Commissioner Potočnik,
Europe’s wild bird population has declined by 20 percent in the past three decades, with an estimated loss of 421 million birds. Many of the species in decline are essential to the local environment, and European ecosystems as well as the humans inhabiting them could suffer as a result.
While the study noted a population decline of 90 percent in many common species, it also found that rarer species benefited greatly from conservation efforts such as habitat protection and wildlife reserves. This suggests that, though the population decline is alarming, it is not impossible to reverse.
Countries across Europe should focus their efforts on protecting native species by implementing more sustainable farming methods and reducing habitat destruction. We, the undersigned, ask that the European Union address this issue immediately by urging increased protection of breeding and roosting grounds, a proven way to curb population decline.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fir0002 via Creative Commons