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Migratory waterbird populations in decline in Europe

(From news.mongabay.com)- 41 percent of 522 migratory waterbird populations on the routes across Africa and Eurasia show decreasing trends, reports a new study released at the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Waterbirds using Western and Central Asian Flyways are even worse off — 55 percent of populations with known trends are currently declining. The report, titled “Conservation Status of Migratory Waterbirds in the African-Eurasian Flyways” and prepared by Wetlands International, says that habitat destruction is the leading factor behind the decline.

“The main causes of declining waterbird numbers along the African-Eurasian Flyways are the destruction and unsustainable exploitation of wetlands, which are largely driven by poorly-planned economic developmen. Climate change is a risk to birds and wetland habitats on multiple scales. Increasing storm intensity and expanding deserts make bird migration more hazardous, while rising sea levels threaten to swamp wetlands that serve as breeding, resting, and feeding grounds. Changes in the Arctic may further disrupt food supplies.

Wetlands International urges greater protection of critical habitats to help birds better adapt to climate change.

More information can be found at http://www.wingsoverwetlands.org/

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