New Study: 3 Billion Birds Lost


Research Highlights Urgent Need for Increased Wildlife Funding

 “The dramatic declines in bird populations documented in this study are deeply concerning, but not surprising. We are seeing similar declines in wildlife populations across North America and around the world.”

WASHINGTON (September 19, 2019) — A new study in the journal Science has found the cumulative loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970, a decline of approximately 29 percent. The staggering net loss of birds shows the need for Congress to increase funding for wildlife conservation by passing the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

“The dramatic declines in bird populations documented in this study are deeply concerning, but not surprising. We are seeing similar declines in wildlife populations across North America and around the world,” said Bruce Stein, chief scientist for the National Wildlife Federation and author of the book Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States.

“Grassland birds have been hit especially hard, a result of the on-going conversion of our native grasslands to agriculture. The strong improvements in waterfowl numbers demonstrate that when we invest in conservation—and have strong policies to protect and restore wetlands and other habitats—we can make a meaningful difference. The Administration’s efforts to weaken legal protections for wetlands could, unfortunately, reverse this progress.

“Right now, most birds and other wildlife species in trouble do not have the kind of consistent, dedicated funding that waterfowl have benefited from. The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would be a game-changer for birds by investing nearly $1.4 billion each year in proactive conservation strategies. This new study highlights the urgency of addressing America’s wildlife crisis by ramping up conservation investments and defending the laws that protect wildlife and their habitats.”

Additional Resources:

Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.