Free Range Free Chat

Happy Monday News Viewers — Free Range is our Monday free chat with a mountainous, grassy, oceanic, atmospheric, subterranean reach across the distance of all the thoughts, sights, memories and twisted, sarcastic and gutsy knowledge fit to print.

I’m calling this Mother Earth Day, the day after Mother’s Day, although we know that Mother Earth Day is really Mother-Father-Kids and Grands-Cats and Dogs-Earth Day. More than that, Ok, just Earth Day. Let’s make it every day.

Let’s include birds in today’s Earth Day — the latest report, from March of this year, is a canary in the coal mine report. … all about birds.

The world’s birds, described as the planet’s “canaries in the coal mine,” are disappearing in large numbers as the colossal impact of humanity on the Earth grows, a global review just published has found.

Atlantic Puffin is listed as Vulnerable. Its population is predicted to fall by 50-79% before 2065. Photo by Maria Sivtseva/Shutterstock

There are about 11,000 species of bird spanning the globe, but the populations of half of them are falling, while just 6% are increasing. Their flight and song make them easier to study than many animals, meaning they are the best studied large group.

Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager occurs in Peru and is believed to number 250-2,500 individuals. Photo by Alexander Lees

Bird populations are also affected by all the damage caused by human activity, from the destruction of wild habitat, the climate crisis, and pesticides and other pollution, to over-hunting and impacts of alien species and disease. This makes them the best living indicators of global change, the scientists said.

High or medium-impact threats affecting five globally threatened bird species and the underlying drivers of these threats. Data from BirdLife International. Graphic courtesy Lees et. al. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, May 2022.

After documenting the loss of nearly 3 billion birds in North America alone, it was dismaying to see the same patterns of population declines and extinction occurring globally,” says conservation scientist Ken Rosenberg from the Cornell Lab, now retired. “Because birds are highly visible and sensitive indicators of environmental health, we know their loss signals a much wider loss of biodiversity and threats to human health and well-being.”

The most threatened families of birds are those which are larger and take longer to reproduce, including the Australian brushturkey. Photograph: thomasmales/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Source: Bird Watching Daily and The Guardian

Yes, it’s Monday, but not everywhere on the globe, that’s some consolation for those who don’t like Mondays. Any day ending in “Y” is still a day to chat about the world as we know it this moment, micro or macro—tell us what’s what in your universe, it’s all worth it unless it’s not, in which case, the No Assholes Rule will light up and start flashing its neon lights.

So tell us, NV community, what’s happening in your world?

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