As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIRDS TO THE ECOSYSTEM

Published On May 23, 2014
By Davies M.M Chanda


•BIRDS and their eggs have been at least incidental sources of food for humans since their origin and still are in most societies.

By Evans Nsende -
NON-birders may question why bird conservation is important and what difference it makes to the world at large.

Avid birders and bird watchers know, however, that bird and wildlife conservation is critical to the richness and diversity of the planet we share with more than 10,000 species of birds.
Birds are a diverse group, and their bright colours, distinct songs and calls, and showy displays add enjoyment to our lives.

Birds are very visible, quite common, and offer easy opportunities to observe their diverse plumage and behaviours.

Because of this, birds are popular to many who pursue wildlife watching and monitoring activities.

Birds are fun to watch zipping around the neighborhood or splashing in the bird bath, and their presence bolsters their ecosystems alongside our enjoyment.
They can play any number of roles in a given ecosystem, most of which fall into four main categories: provisioning, regulating, cultural enhancement and supporting services. Supporting services, for example, include tasks such as predation, pollination and seed dispersal.

Birds have been significant to human society in myriad ways.

Birds and their eggs have been at least incidental sources of food for humans since their origin and still are in most societies.

The eggs of some colonial seabirds, such as gulls, terns, and murres, or guillemots, and the young of some mutton-birds are even now harvested in large quantities.

Among other activities, the following are some of the major roles played by birds in the ecosystem and to man.

Agents of Dispersal
Seed dispersal is one of the most important aspects of birds’ roles in their ecosystems, especially since most birds can fly. Seed dispersal simply means the spreading of seeds beyond their immediate area. It is necessary for a number of reasons: The seeds may need to be transported great distances to increase the amount of gene flow in a species; they may need to be “airlifted” to reach potential new colonisation sites; or perhaps they need to be delivered to locations that are ideal for survival and early growth, such as the branch of a tree.

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