Urbanization’s Toll: A Decline in LA’s Bird Population

by | Jul 9, 2023 | Animals, Environment, Environmental News, Wildlife

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The largest threat to living things, particularly bird populations worldwide, is climate change. However, birds in Los Angeles (LA) are at a major risk from other factors as well. One of the greatest factors leading to the decline in LA’s bird population now is urbanization.

Urban sprawl and agricultural expansion have significantly altered the state’s terrain during the past century. Numerous bird species have been forced to adapt to new and unfamiliar environments as a result of the climatic changes brought on by urbanization.

Urbanisation's Toll: A Decline in LA's Bird Population

According to a study done by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, land use changes have increased the impact of climate change. As a result, the bird population in Los Angeles and the Central Valley has suffered. The researchers utilized current and historical bird surveys to arrive at this conclusion.

How Urbanization Disrupts Bird Populations and Behaviors in LA

According to the study, urbanization, hotter and drier conditions in Los Angeles have reduced more than one-third of the region’s bird species during the last century. Furthermore, agricultural growth and the region’s warmer and slightly wetter environment have further added fuel to the fire.

Birds were followed across the area, and researchers compared their findings to information gathered in the 1890s. They conducted a survey of more than 70 places and looked at land use, annual average temperatures, and annual average rainfall.

Researchers in Los Angeles discovered that over 40% of the bird species were located in fewer locations now than they were 100 years ago. Only 10% of the sites had visitors, though. The number of species has increased in the Central Valley by 16%, whereas the decrease ratio is 23%.

The loss of bird species in Los Angeles during the past century is comparable to the extinction of bird communities in Mojave Desert national parks. In both instances, researchers have shown that deterioration during the past 100 years has been related to heat stress brought on by climate change. However, according to scientists, the Central Valley has seen less overall change than LA has.

Reasons for Decline in Bird Population

Due to the various risks they encounter, there is a constant decline in LA’s bird population. Human activities are the main reason for the decline in many bird species’ populations. This includes things like hunting, pollution, and habitat destruction. Several bird populations are declining as a result of climate change. Invasive species, which can deprive established native species of their resources, can be introduced by humans to new places.

Also Read: Birds of Death: Two New Species Are Found

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