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Bird populations in the world and the impact of human activities

A group of experts from Finland, Denmark, Great Britain, and Spain have conducted research on bird species and their vulnerability to human-dominated habitats. The study examined around 6,000 bird species worldwide and found that 80% of them are at risk of being negatively impacted by urbanization, air pollution, and climate change. While some species can adapt, many others are vulnerable to these factors, and even those that are currently thriving may become endangered or extinct due to increasing human pressure.

Another study conducted in the USA has found that flame retardants previously added to furniture and withdrawn from use ten years ago still accumulate in the organisms and eggs of birds, such as peregrine falcons. The study revealed that the most common flame retardant found in falcon eggs was polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), indicating that these chemicals continue to accumulate in marine and terrestrial food chains.

Though the challenges are significant, there is positive news from the UK. The hen harrier population is recovering, but this recovery is threatened by illegal hunting of these predators. Since they eat red grouse chicks, which are targeted by hunters during the shooting season, hen harriers are hunted. The RSPB Birdcrime report shows that 71% of confirmed cases of hunting birds of prey occurred in areas intended for shooting game birds. The Scottish government has taken a step towards conservation by introducing licensing for shooting black grouse in the country. The RSPB and conservationists are advocating for similar legislation to be introduced in England.

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