RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Many of the world’s bird species are markedly declining, and in an effort to bring awareness to their plight there is a special day designated to enhance avian conservation. Richard Moore brings us the story of this weekend’s World Migratory Bird Day.
World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated this Saturday, May 11th, and it’s a perfect time to recognize the need to conserve our world’s dwindling avian species.
The latest state of North American birds survey showed that one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action, with some populations plummeting more than 50 percent in recent years.
Habitat loss and fragmentation due to development are the largest threats. Climate change, invasive species, exploitation of natural resources and pollution are also decimating avian populations.
A recent United Nations report revealed that not only are birds in peril, but one million of the planet’s eight million species are threatened with extinction.
The disastrous impact of population growth coupled with unchecked exploitation of natural resources has devastated much of the world’s lands and seas.
In just the last 50 years, the world’s population has doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.6 billion.
The Rio Grande Valley has a population of approximately 1.3 million and is projected to nearly double by 2050 to more than 2.4 million.
With approximately 97 percent of our native habitat already cleared for agriculture and development in the four county area, Valley wildlife is being squeezed into ever smaller parcels.
While the future appears grim for a planet ravaged by ever-expanding human population, whose insatiable consumption is destroying the natural world, there is hope to avert the catastrophic decline in wildlife diversity.
Conservation of remaining habitat is critical as is prompt action on man-made global warming and curbs on pollution and unregulated exploitation of natural resources.
Migratory birds are vital monitors of the health of our environment, and their plummeting numbers are a stark reminder that we must take better care of the natural world we share.