Amazon bird population decline
Credit: Ross Tsai/Flickr

Bird populations in the Amazon are declining without clear cause

Bird populations in the Amazon's Yasuní Biosphere Reserve have mysteriously dropped by half over 23 years, with climate change being a potential culprit.

Bernardo Araujo reports for Mongabay.


In short:

  • The number of birds in Ecuador's Yasuní Biosphere Reserve has halved, according to a recent study.
  • Researchers suspect climate change as the primary cause, despite the area being largely undisturbed by human activity.
  • Similar declines have been observed in other tropical regions, indicating a broader environmental issue.

Key quote:

“There’s something called the dawn chorus, which is typical in tropical forests where lots of birds sing just before dawn. And over the last 10 years, that has just been going quieter and quieter with very few birds singing in the morning.”

— John Blake, University of Florida professor

Why this matters:

This decline in bird populations, even in pristine habitats, is indicative of the far-reaching impacts of climate change, raising alarms about the future of biodiversity in tropical ecosystems. For more, read our series, Winged Warnings: What birds are telling us about our planet's health.

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