Upland birds

In Deutschland ist die Auerhahn-Population gefährdet

Die Zahl der Auerhähne (Tetrao Urogallus) im Schwarzwald sinkt. Wie der Landesjagdverband am Montag in Stuttgart mitteilte, wurden bei der diesjährigen Zählung nur noch 243 Hähne ermittelt. Das sind rund 7 Prozent weniger als im Vorjahr und 23 Prozent weniger als 2012. Zu befürchten sei nun ein neuer Negativtrend. In allen Mittelgebirgen außer im Bayerischen Wald und im Schwarzwald ist der markante Vogel mit den roten «Augenbrauen» ausgestorben. Seit 1971 darf er nicht mehr gejagt werden. Um die Population zu erhalten wurde ein Aktionsplan erarbeitet, der beim Auerhuhntag am 26. und 27. September in Todtnauberg (Kreis Lörrach) vorgestellt werden soll.

Habicht immer seltener

Der Habicht-Bestand im Meißner Land bleibt nach Beobachtungen von Vogelkundlern auf drei Brutpaare beschränkt. Sachsenweit sind es aktuell 650 bis 800 Paare. Der Fachgruppe Ornithologie Meißen zufolge sind für die Seltenheit des Greifvogels mehrere Ursachen verantwortlich. Obwohl seit den 70er Jahren streng geschützt, würden Habichte weiterhin illegal geschossen oder in Fallen gefangen. Ein weiterer Grund für die Gefährdung des Greifvogels ist der Rückgang einiger seiner wichtigsten Beutetiere wie Feldhase, Fasan oder Rebhuhn. Deshalb jagt der Habicht (Accipiter gentilis) Zuchttauben oder Rassegeflügel.

Nepal is losing its bird populations

The increasing loss of habitat due to deforestation, use of chemical fertilizers and human encroachment has caused the decline in the number of country’s bird population over the years. According to the 2011 report of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (NPWC) and Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN), 149 species of birds have been listed in the threatened list. “There has been no let up in human activities and the bird habitat is dwindling. Not much effort is being put for conservation. It is only inevitable if the list of threatened bird species have become longer by now,” said Hemraj Baral, an ornithologist. The Zoological Society of London, National Trust for Nature Conservation and Himalayan Nature are jointly conducting a survey to find out the number of bird species in the country. The preliminary study suggests as many as 170 species could fall in the threatened list.

Hiobsbotschaften zum Zustand der Biodiversität in der Schweiz - In den Alpen singen immer weniger Vögel

Feldlerche (Alauda arvensis), Braunkehlchen (Saxicola rubetra), und Baumpieper (Anthus trivialis) verlassen nun auch scharenweise das Engadin, das unter Ornithologen als letzte Hochburg dieser typischen Vertreter des Kulturlands gilt. Diese jüngste Feststellung aus einer langen Liste von Hiobsbotschaften zum Zustand der Biodiversität in der Schweiz stammt von Forschern unter Leitung von Roman Graf von der Schweizerischen Vogelwarte Sempach, die Bestandsaufnahmen aus den Jahren 1987 und 1988 wiederholt haben.

Common montane birds are declining in northern Europe

Large-scale multi-species data on population changes of alpine or arctic species are largely lacking. Here we present a multi-national bird indicator for the Fennoscandian mountain range in northern Europe (Finland, Sweden and Norway), based on 14 common species of montane tundra and subalpine birch forest. The data were collected at 262 alpine survey plots, mainly as a part of geographically representative national breeding bird monitoring schemes. The area sampled covers around 1/4 million km2, spanning 10 degrees of latitude and 1600 km in a northeast–southwest direction. During 2002–2012, nine of the 14 bird species declined significantly in numbers, in parallel to higher summer temperatures and precipitation during this period compared to the preceding 40 yr. The population trends were largely parallel in the three countries and similar among montane tundra and subalpine birch forest species. Long-distance migrants declined less on average than residents and short-distance migrants.

Comparisons of arthropod and avian assemblages in insecticide-treated and untreated eastern hemlock stands in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is using systemic imidacloprid to treat eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis [L.] Carr.) infested with the exotic insect, hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand). This study investigated effects of these treatments on insectivorous birds and hemlock canopy arthropod assemblages in the context of food availability for insectivorous birds. Six pairs of treated and untreated hemlock sites were studied in 2007. Territories of three hemlock-associated Neotropical migratory foliage-gleaning bird species were mapped in these six sites, and relationships between bird territory density and hemlock foliar density were examined. Canopy arthropods were sampled by clipping mid-canopy hemlock branches in each paired site. Arthropods were identified to order or suborder and categorized into bird prey guilds and non-target herbivorous insect guilds.

Some of Scotland's most popular birds are suffering a severe drop in numbers, a study has revealed

Scientists from the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Natural Research have revealed the startling decline in bird populations in the State of UK Birds 2013 report. The mountain species dotterel (Charadrius morinellus), one of the rarest breeds in Britain – with two-thirds living in the Cairngorms – has declined by about 40 per cent in just over a decade. The results found that the estimated number of dotterels had fallen from 630 breeding males in 1999, to just 423 breeding males in 2011, continuing a longer-term decline since the first survey in 1987-88, which estimated the number of breeding males at 981. Other declines of population include the lapwing, a bird of farmland and wetland which has endured a 41 per cent population decline since 1995. The snipe, a wetland bird, has seen its breeding range shrunk by 31 per cent over the last 40 years. The population of grey partridge – another farmland bird – has declined by 53 per cent since 1995, while the corn bunting population has declined by 34 per cent since 1995. The turtle dove, which is not native in Scotland, has suffered a 51 per cent decline in the rest of the UK over the last 40 years. Mark Eaton, of RSPB, said: “Scotland’s Highlands provide an important home for dotterel and the species’ presence offers a good indicator of the health of our mountain landscapes. To see such a significant drop in their numbers over the past three decades is deeply concerning.

Norwegian White Grouse stocks cut in half

Environmental authorities are worried about a huge reduction in Norway’s estimated number of the large bird known as rype (white grouse, or ptarmigan). They say that stocks registered by researchers were cut in half from 2002 to 2012.
Norwegian researchers tracking bird hatchings have been cooperating with colleagues in Sweden and Finland to register fjellrype in a mountain area covering around 250,000 square kilometers. For the first time, reports news bureau NTB, they’ve detected a sharp decline.

What Happened to Our Quail? Observations of an Old Quail Hunter

I know the answer to the question in the headline, but almost no one will believe me. The drastic decline in the quail (Coturnix coturnix) population throughout the South has been a passionate concern of mine for many years. The tragic and drastic decline in quail and other field-bird populations is the result of the massive and widespread spraying of herbicides by agriculture and forestry industries. I am as sure of this as I am that night follows day. There is a curious and almost hostile resistance to this assertion. I have written many letters to various groups and agencies that assume an authoritative role in such problems, but my efforts are always met with an almost hostile indifference. More specifically, I believe that Quail Unlimited and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Deptartment are more a part of the problem than the solution. To my knowledge, they have no experimental data to support their position that herbicides have no significant effect on field-bird populations. I have suggested that Quail Unlimited spray their Quail Demonstration Project acreages with herbicide and see what happens, but they declined.

Golden eagle numbers dive: Audubon documents a decline at the Bridger Mountains route

The number of migrating golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) through Montana’s Bridger Mountains, the top fall golden eagle migration route in the Lower 48, has dropped 35 to 40 percent over the past two decades, mirroring similar declines at migrating raptor count sites elsewhere in the West and raising concerns for Montana Audubon, which conducts the surveys. Steve Hoffman, executive director of Montana Audubon, says the declines in southwest Montana are being documented in migrating golden eagles, which could indicate habitat loss in wintering grounds in the United States or problems in breeding areas in Canada and Alaska. The decline in numbers of golden eagles has been documented in annual raptor counts conducted at Bridger Bowl Ski Area near Bozeman since 1992. Each year, from Sept. 1 to late October or early November, two official observers count raptors from a helicopter-landing platform at an elevation of 8,600 feet. In the 2013 survey, which concluded earlier this month, the trend of declining golden eagles continued with 1,131 golden eagles counted compared to 1,272 in 2012. In 1992, the first full year of survey results, 1,579 golden eagles were recorded. In 1999, the last year counters recorded a high number of eagles, 1,870 golden eagles were spotted. "Our data in the Bridgers has determined it is a problem,” Hoffman said. Since the late 1990s, the number of birds counted has declined 35 to 40 percent, the survey results show.