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Thread: The Silent Spring is coming true

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  1. #3
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Where faults collide
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg View Post
    In Wisconsin it appears that West Nile disease - spread by mosquitos - is killing birds. Research/study is on-going.
    Another reason for fewer birds (and other wildlife) is loss of habitat. New housing developments are part of that. Also, most wildlife likes young forests, so proper land management is critical - careful logging can help in a big way.
    We have that here too. There were a couple of years where we saw very few yellow-billed magpies (a unique and vulnerable species in central California), scrub jays, and even crows, and there still seem to be fewer than there once were. Adding to the complexity, all the spraying for mosquitoes to fight these diseases affects other insects too, and many birds eat insects, to it's not just the birds most vulnerable to the disease that are affected.

    But there are other factors going on too, as this decline has been happening for fifty years, since before West Nile was a thing. And of course, West Nile and other diseases aren't spreading into North America for no reason. Changes in development, climate change, and human travel patterns (and transport of livestock and produce) all contribute to the spread of diseases and vector species. And habitat destruction and climate change are problems for nearly all wildlife.

    Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
    Well, at least they've knocked off blaming the eeeviiil cats.
    They did suggest keeping cats inside is a good thing. I think cat damage to birds has been going on for as long as humans, cats, and birds have lived in the same space, but as human populations grow and expand into previously natural areas, so will our domestic animals. More humans=more housecats. So if cats are killing more birds than they once did, it's an aspect of human expansion and habitat destruction.

    Though I am guessing a higher percentage of people in the US and Canada keep pet cats inside all or most of the time than once did.

    There are likely many things going on here, but it's unsurprising to me that things are finally becoming critical. There are fewer and fewer places for wildlife to go, and with a warming and increasingly polluted and "under cultivation" planet, it's not going to get any better without concerted effort on our part.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 09-23-2019 at 01:51 AM.
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