It’s clear that humans have done a number on the environment, since the climate is warming and species are going extinct at an alarming rate.
But birds in particular are a useful indicator for monitoring environmental health overall and are better-monitored than most animals thanks to large citizen science databases and radar data, according to the paper published last month in Science.
They corroborated this data with data taken from a network of 143 weather radars in the United States from 2007 to 2017; migrating birds show up on weather radars, from which scientists can calculate the overall change in avian biomass.
The only biome that hasn’t lost overall numbers is wetlands.
“But if even the most common birds are experiencing substantial declines, it suggests that we have a lot of work to do.
There are lots of things we have to fix.”