Latest News by Industry
Birds nesting in agricultural lands more vulnerable to extreme heat, study finds
Birds nesting in agricultural settings were significantly less likely to successfully raise their young during extreme heat events than birds nesting in forests under the same weather conditions, a new study finds
As climate change intensifies extreme heat, farms are becoming less hospitable to nesting birds, a new study found. That could be another barrier to maintaining rapidly eroding biodiversity that also provides benefits to humans, including farmers who get free pest control when birds eat agricultural pests.
Researchers who examined data on over 150,000 nesting attempts found that birds in agricultural lands were 46% less likely to successfully raise at least one chick when it got really hot than birds in other areas.
“I don’t think we expected it to be as extreme as it was,” said Katherine Lauck, a PhD candidate at University of California, Davis and lead author of the study published Thursday in the journal Science.
Bird scientists have been tracking the decline of avian wildlife for years. In 2019, a comprehensive study showed that there were three billion fewer wild birds than in 1970. The new study represents a closer look at what might be behind the dramatic decline.