1.) Thesis Statement:
Out of the entire population of birds in North America, almost one third of them have vanished, and it is through our own actions that this is occuring. The only way to stop it is by us as well.
2.) Background and Evidence:
Birds are an indicator species in which they are very sensitive to environmental changes such as air or water quality. The fact that this many birds are gone is a very important notion that North America’s ecosystems are crashing. Of course the endangered species of birds are always a concern, but these studies were done on common birds. For example, Blue Jays have lost one fourth of their population since 1970. Another example includes the Red Wing Black Bird in which its population went down by 92 million.
Other indicator species are being analyzed all over the world for similar patterns and they are showing very similar if not worse results. 82 percent of the biomass of all flying insects in Europe are gone. 40 percent of amphibians are facing extinction right at this moment. Only 3 percent of tuna are left on planet earth compared to the historical populations. All of these extinction level problems are happening because of human impacts and scientists are beginning to call this period in history the Anthropocene because the human population is affecting the environment as much as it is.
These reports are new, but we have been receiving hints like this for decades now. Articles date back to the 80’s in which they bring up population decreases among birds. A report was released in 2006 by the Audubon society warning about populations of birds. In this statement they mentioned anything from songbirds to the shorebirds seen every summer around New Jersey.
3.) Sources I have found:
This is a short description of the Audubon Society’s findings on bird populations. It tells us that birds are an indicator species and that if we see a loss in population of them, we should know that there is something wrong in the environment. In this article, it suggests not to bring development to a halt, but to move development away from critical bird habitats.
The authors of this article brings to the reader’s attention why we should be worried about the population decline. A new report had just been released by North American ornithologists stating that in total, one third of the population of birds since 1970 is gone. This is a staggering claim but as mentioned here, birds are the most studied animal on the planet and these results were collected from a multitude of different sources. It gives charts of the populations so we can visualize what is being said. The authors sum up what was said by offering some advice to live more conscious of our actions and to strive for clean healthy ecosystems around us.
4.) Sources I Haven’t Found:
I would like to find some sources saying what other species are being impacted by the loss of birds and more similar reports around the world rather than just in North America. I would also like to find an article explaining ways to help out even in small communities to make an impact on bird populations for the better.
4.) Counterarguments I need to refute:
a.) They are just birds, what do we even need them for?
b.) It is going to cost more money to help them so why bother? What have birds done for us?