The GuardianThe Guardian

‘Canaries in the coalmine’: loss of birds signals changing planet

By Damian Carrington

05 May 2022 · 4 min read

The world’s birds, described as the planet’s “canaries in the coalmine”, are disappearing in large numbers as the colossal impact of humanity on the Earth grows, a global review has found.

There are about 11,000 species of bird spanning the globe, but the populations of half of them are falling, while just 6% are increasing. Their flight and song make them easier to study than many animals, meaning they are the best studied large group.

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