By Miguel Angel Ruiz
If it's bad for birds, it's bad for people. I have already noted this reflection here sometime when it was time to talk about the regression of many species of birds, a phenomenon that normally it has to do with the destruction of their habitat, with the excessive use of phytosanitary products in the field or with excessive hunting. Today, World Biodiversity Day, is the moment chosen by the scientific and conservation society SEO / BirdLife to warn about the precarious state of 43% of European birds: of the 541 wild species that inhabit the continent, 232 need greater protection due to the tremendous drop in their populations, which in some cases is very worrying.
Some examples: the common quail has dropped 53% since 2000, the kingfisher almost 50%, the European turtle dove 30% and the red partridge 16%. All these species, by the way, are present in the Murcia Region, a territory with an abundant variety of birdlife, as well as the whole of the country, which is home to 143 of the European species with a negative trend.A ranking in which the common coot registers a sad mark: its presence has been reduced by 70%.
These data are collected in the publication‘European birds concerned about their conservation status: birds, trends and national responsibility’, a document that gathers the conservation status of 541 bird species in 50 European countries and territories based on the IUCN Red List. "Thanks to this comprehensive report, national governments can easily identify those that urgently need attention and protection," explains SEO / BirdLife.
This updated information confirms the general deterioration of European birds, since the percentage of European Species Concerned about their Conservation (SPEC) has passed from 38% in 1994 to 43% today.
For Nicolas Lopez, responsible for the SEO / BirdLife Threatened Species Program, “the Spanish Government and the autonomous communities have a great responsibility in the conservation of the European species that are included in this publication, especially those that present a more unfavorable situation. Some of these European species are only found in our country or they use Spain as a transit area on their migratory routes or as breeding areas. Being the European country with the greatest biodiversity and a refuge for many species of birds in Europe and Africa is a privilege, but it also implies a great commitment to which it is necessary to face ”, adds.
Feet on the ground