A new study shows that birds have shifted the time of their breeding much more quickly than Finnish farmers are anticipating their sowing times. This means that more birds are laying their eggs on fields that are still to be sown, a mismatch in timing that is most likely fatal for the bird nests.
"As the eggs of Curlew and Lapwings are placed on unsown fields, they are likely to be run over by farming machinery during sowing operations even if farmers were willing to avoid nest destructions," says researcher Andrea Santangeli from Finnish Museum of Natural History, part of the University of Helsinki.
Modern agriculture is catastrophic for farmland wildlife
The rush to produce more food to feed an ever-increasing society has led to unprecedented transformations in farmland over the past 50 years. The challenge of increasing crop yields was met by making extensive use of chemicals, like pesticides and herbicides to remove pests and weeds, and by making fields larger and homogeneous.