National Backyard Bird Census scheduled for this weekend
As every year for 10 years, the League for the Protection of Birds invites the French to assess the number of birds by species in their garden, on January 28 and 29.
On Saturday and Sunday, French people with a garden are called upon to take part in the national bird census. The operation, launched 10 years ago by the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) and the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), takes place twice a year, the last weekends of January and May.
To participate, the action is simple: each owner is invited to count, at a glance, the number of species observed and the quantity seen, then to connect to the site of the Observatory of garden birds. After registration, a form lists data for each species. “The objective is to measure variations in occurrence (presence/absence of the species) and abundance (number of individuals) on a national scale for several species over time.“, explains the PLO, which is also pleased with a growing participation: with 3,000 reports in 2012, these rose to 30,000 throughout France in 2022.
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A declining population
On the eve of the national action, the LPO published a report on Tuesday, based on the returns of the last ten years of census. As a result, 50% of the species are on the increase in the winter period, 20% are stable and 10% are in decline. Those that grow are primarily the ring-necked parakeet, the pigeon or even the jackdaw.
A false positive figure, which is explained in particular by an ecological upheaval. “At a time when resources are running out in natural environments, environments also subject to multiple pressures of anthropogenic origin», the gardens thus become «power point», explains the PLO. “Areas of intensive agriculture where seeds are becoming scarce, forcing species to seek substitute food in gardens», Specifies the organization.
Conversely, spring sees its customary species become scarce, with 41% of species in decline: the bullfinch, the accentor flycatcher, the European greenfinch, or even the blackbird.