The Looming Threat to Avian Species
Birds are our planet’s greatest survivors. They are built to lead an unfazed life in the ice, deserts, and open oceans or even in the stuffy mountaintops. Some birds fly amazingly nonstop for days, whereas some travel to arrive at a particular place in a particular season, year after year. Pollination, seeds dispersing, keeping the bugs under control were some of the few great helps that the avian species had done to our world. But, 1,300 of those species are facing extinction on the hands of Earth’s most dangerous being – the humans.
Two reports released on the month of September – Audubon Society’s Climate Report and The State of the Birds 2014 – stated the imminent threat faced by avian species in North American as well as in other parts of the world. Warming temperatures, devil-may-care private land management seems to connect with the dark fate of the birds. These reports coincide finely with the previous exhausting researches regarding chemical contamination and its effect on bird populations. Last year, UN’s world metrological association showed concerns regarding the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a record high, which was fueled by a artificial surge in carbon dioxide.
Bald Eagles, migratory birds like pelicans, storks, sandpipers, and even our backyard visitors (hummingbird) are confronting dramatic decline in population — thanks to the human induced climate change. Birds species of our have evolved even before the arrival of humans. They choose a specific geographical location and thrive in those natural habitats. But, the rapid climate changes are forcing them to change those thousands of year’s old evolutionary habits, forcing them always to seek refuge in different parts of world. It not only affects their procreation process, but also creates turbulence in the whole food chain. Now, the birds are bounded within a small space that creates competition among the species for both food and shelter
Apart from the climate change, bird species are also affected by the chemicals. In 1962, Rachel Carson, a scientist and ecologist warned about the use of pesticides on insects. She connected the pesticide DDT that affected the animals those ate the insects. Since, birds are at top of the food chain, the contamination at insect levels naturally affected them too. Academic researches on the 1980’s strongly pursued the point that industrial chemicals and pesticide DDT has vitally limited the birds’ hormone production and draining their reproductive cycles. And, later studies proved the harm these human-made chemicals inflicted on natural world.
Our planet has caused natural extinction of numerous species in these billions of years. A species’ extinction paved opportunities to the raise of a different species. It has been the natural course. But, we humans altering or speeding up the extinction process by pumping out pollution and destroying the ecosystem. We are preparing our earth for a massive early extinction, where no other life would survive or thrive.