State of Canada’s Birds: First-ever Report Shows Dramatic Changes in Bird Populations

Aerial insectivores (birds that catch insects in flight) are declining more steeply than any other group of birds.

The State of Canada’s Birds report draws on 40 years of data to create the first-ever comprehensive picture of the current health of Canada’s birds. Released by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI-Canada), under the leadership of Environment Canada, Bird Studies Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Nature Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Wildlife Habitat Canada, the report points to the strong influence of human activity on bird populations, both positive and negative, as well as the need for urgent action for bird conservation.

The report finds that there are fewer birds now than in the seventies – on average, Canadian bird populations have declined by 12%. However, some species are doing well, while others are declining. Overall, more species are decreasing (44% of species in Canada) than increasing (33%). Some groups have severely declined, including grassland birds, migratory shorebirds and aerial insectivores (birds that catch insects in flight). These groups have all decreased by more than 40%, on average, and some individual species in these groups have decreased by more than 90%.

Excerpts taken from The State of Canada’s Birds 2012 News Release:

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