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.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Global bird populations under increasing threat



NEWS / 10 JULY 2018, 09:00AM / STAFF WRITER

The research, published in Springer’s journal The Science of Nature, highlights the important role birds play in keeping plant-eating insect populations under control. Picture: Maurice Baker
Birds around the world eat 400 to 500 million metric tons of beetles, flies, ants, moths, aphids, grasshoppers, crickets and other arthropods a year, according to an international study by Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzer- land.

The research, published in Springer’s journal The Science of Nature, highlights the important role birds play in keeping plant-eating insect populations under control.

Nyffeler and his colleagues based their figures on 103 studies that highlighted the volume of prey that insect-eating birds consume in seven of the world’s major ecological communities, known as biomes.

According to their estimations, this amounts to between 400 and 500 million tons of insects a year, but is most likely to be on the lower end of the range.

Their calculations are supported by a large number of experimental studies conducted by many different research teams in a variety of habitats in different parts of the world.

“The global population of insectivorous birds annually consumes as much energy as a megacity the size of New York.


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