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Mass extinction: fish, birds and bees

According to British scientists, when climate change in the North Atlantic causes a decline in plankton by 16-26%, the living conditions for fish in the ocean decline by 38-55%. Plankton is reduced due to a lack of nutrients in the water – as ocean temperatures rise, nutrients sink into deeper waters, and there are too few at the surface to support plankton growth. It limits the availability of food and feeding opportunities for commercially caught fish.

The number of birds in North America has decreased by 3 billion specimens capable of breeding in 50 years – almost 30% of the population. For example, the Common grackle and American finch population decreased by 12%, and the Greater roadrunner by 21%. In the Mojave Desert, bird numbers have halved in over 100 years. The decline in bird populations in North America indicates more significant ecological problems, such as habitat loss, conversion of grasslands to farmland, pollution, pesticide use and climate change.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 3 million bees that died within a few days in a sanctuary in San Diego were killed by a “double-lethal” dose of fipronil. It is an anti-termite agent, banned in agriculture and landscape architecture. Meanwhile, Italian MEPs are calling on the European Commission to take action against the Asian giant hornet, spreading across some EU countries and killing bees. It costs the French economy an estimated €30.8 million a year, and in Portugal, the insects have caused a 35% decline in honey production in recent years.

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