Bird populations collapse: Today’s warning

Bird populations collapse: Today’s warning

Hardly a day passes now without one dire warning or another about our destruction of the natural world and its finite resources. Yesterday we detailed the destruction of shoreline fauna and biodiversity in West Cork.

The day before we published an EPA warning about compromised drinking water, including Cork City’s supply. It goes on and on.

Today’s warning comes in a report to the Oireachtas detailing the huge habitat destruction that has led to a “dramatic” decline in bird populations. It seems reasonable to imagine that other species — insects, mammals and plants — dependent on that habitat have suffered a similar fate.

The canary-in-the-mine details are another indictment of our stewardship and capitulation to relentless but unsustainable growth. Lapwing numbers, according to Birdwatch Ireland, are down 67% in less than 20 years, while the mallard population has almost halved — down 40% — in 20 years.

It is bizarre that we imagine ourselves immune to the forces wreaking such havoc. It is even more bizarre that we pay little more than lip service to any efforts to turn the tide.

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