Mountain birds, in decline


Madrid

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They are home to 15% of the world’s population, they supply fresh water for more than half of humanity and they contain approximately half of the world’s reserve of biological diversity. The conservation of mountains and their natural wealth is key to achieving sustainable development as set by SDG 15. However, they are strongly threatened by climate change and overexploitation, which puts many of the species in them at risk. they have their habitat, like mountain birds.

Results compiled by SEO / BirdLife indicate that bird populations in these areas are generally in decline. Some of them, black redstart, gray wheatear, mountain bunting, which, although they are also found in other habitats, have a stable trend in these areas. The common lark and the red rocker that frequent these areas have declined in their populations.

«The data from alpine areas collected in Spain with the SEO / BirdLife Sacre program are incorporated together with those from other European countries to develop an indicator of common mountain birds that allows knowing the health of these ecosystems. The first results indicate that the populations of mountain birds are decreasing on a European scale and climate change and changes in land use are attributed ”, recognizes Virginia Escandell, coordinator of the Sacre, Sacin and Noctua programs at SEO / BirdLife.

The biodiversity of birds includes both exclusive species of these environments such as the alpine accentor, the alpine pipit, the chough, the alpine sparrow, the crag, as well as species that also occupy other habitats such as the red-billed chough, the black redstart, the gray wheatear , the great raven or the mountain scribe.

Natural jewels

The mountains stand out as some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. Its unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms. Mountain ecosystems are rich in biodiversity. These ecosystems encompass a great diversity of species of fauna and flora, many of which are endemic. Thanks to their differentiated topography in terms of altitude, slope and exposure, they offer unique opportunities for crops, horticulture, livestock and forest species.

Despite their importance for biodiversity and for man, the threat looms over the peaks. As mountain glaciers melt, people in the highlands – among the poorest in the world – face greater difficulties in surviving due to natural disasters. To all this must be added the fact that such melting at an unprecedented speed threatens the fresh water supply of millions of people. This problem is everyone’s business. Hence, we must reduce our carbon footprint and take care of this natural treasure, remember from the United Nations on this very important day.

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