The importance of birds for the environment

Two days before the celebration of World Bird Day, the Biodiversity Foundation (a public foundation dependent on the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs of Spain) wants to highlight the importance of these animals for the environment. Spain is one of the countries in Europe with the largest number of bird species in its territory. Every year, thousands of ornithology-loving tourists visit this country for the sole purpose of bird watching, thus helping to generate wealth and employment in rural areas and protected natural areas. 

Balance the ecosystem

Some of these species are unique, such as the Iberian imperial eagle (pictured) or the Cantabrian grouse, and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In addition, another thirteen species are of priority conservation and, in some cases, are threatened with extinction. Five of them live in the Canary Islands.

Birds are essential for the balance of ecosystems . There are 580 different species of birds in Spain: 363 are common (with a more or less regular presence) and the rest are occasional. Of these, a quarter are threatened or in danger of extinction, according to the Red Book of Birds published by SEO / BirdLife in 2004, which represents 45% of all species in the country.

The greatest threat to the survival of birds is the destruction and loss of their habitat , but also, to a lesser extent, are human activities, such as leisure activities, hikers that are not very respectful of the environment or the massive circulation of vehicles. on rural roads. We must not forget either the intensive crops and the abandoned fields or introduced alien species that compete with the autochthonous ones. Finally, illegal hunting, power lines, wind turbines, and the illegal use of poison are also major threats to these animals.

Conservation is vital

The Biodiversity Foundation carries out actions to conserve and protect the aforementioned species of the Iberian imperial eagle and the Cantabrian grouse, as well as the bearded vulture or the Egyptian vulture. It also carries out an important mission in the conservation of the marine environment and wetlands as very important habitats for birds. Because conserving birds is conserving our environment.

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