Half of field, meadow birds have disappeared in Austria: Study

Half of field, meadow birds have disappeared in Austria: Study

47.4% of native farmland birds have disappeared, according to latest Farmland Bird Index reading

By Timo Kirez

GENEVA (AA) — The populations of field and meadow birds in Austria have fallen by nearly half in the last 24 years, a study revealed Thursday.

Measured by 23 bird species indicators in the Farmland Bird Index, their population is at an all-time low, according to research by nature conservation organization Birdlife Austria.

The Austrian Ministry of Agriculture commissioned a study showing that about 47.4% of native farmland birds have disappeared since 1998.

In addition to species already under severe pressure for years, several other indicator species also showed decline.

The study said a combination of long-term declines and poor breeding seasons for many species explained the index low.

The trajectory of the the Farmland Bird Index shows that efforts are needed to save native fields and meadow birds, the authors of the study wrote on Birdlife's website.

They said the loss of structure and biodiversity impoverishment of cultivated land, pesticide use, and intensified agriculture in recent decades have left their mark on Austria.

In addition, the 2022 breeding season was generally poor due to weather conditions.

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