About 40% of breeding birds are threatened in Switzerland

About 40% of breeding birds are endangered in Switzerland. This is due to intensive agriculture, moist biotopes under poor conditions and increasing disturbance.

Almost 40% of the 205 bird species that breed in Switzerland are considered threatened. This is more than three times the size of Europe, said the Swiss Biological Investigation Station, in Sempach (LU), which has published a new red list of birds born threatened property.

Over the last twenty years, the situation has deteriorated slightly, as many species must be classified as ‘potentially threatened’. ‘Thus, Switzerland is far from being a model student in the field of bird protection,’ according to the Swiss Ornithology Station.

All habitat types have threatened species. The situation remains particularly precarious in humid biological environments, where 64% of bird species are on the red list. In farming areas, 48% of bird species are threatened as a result of continued intensification of agriculture.

Global warming and entertainment

The Ornithology Station notes that trends considered worrisome are also present in the mountains. Now 38% of mountain birds are considered threatened. The phenomenon ‘could be related to global warming as well as increased recreational use of space’.

However, the species was able to recover thanks to incentives. This is the case for warblers, white storks and crested storks.

To improve the situation of breeding birds, the agricultural sector is called to reduce the intensity of exploitation and encourage structures closer to nature. There is also a need for action in wetlands to create and foster a sufficiently large and undisturbed network of wetland organisms, emphasizes Ornithology Station.

Also in mammals

In a press release released on Tuesday, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) noted that of the 55 species of mammals native to Switzerland (except bats), 20 are endangered. Like ferrets, many of these species have monotonous and poorly connected habitats.

The lack of connectivity between habitats also particularly affects the largest species that are very mobile and need large spaces, such as deer and lynx, emphasizes FOEN.

An example of recovery is beaver. In 1994, it was still considered endangered. But today it is no longer so: thanks to conservation programs, its population has almost multiplied tenfold.

Threatening cicadas

A positive evolution was also observed for dragonflies, even if 36% of the species remained threatened. On the other hand, the situation is not good for cicadas, which prefer dry and sunny natural environments in rural areas or in forests.

A red list was first published in 2021 for this group. Of the ten native species, eight are considered threatened. Only reptiles, characeae and carnivores have a higher proportion in this category.

There are different threats to cicadas. On the one hand, the fertilizers used, the amount of livestock, and the excess of irrigation water impoverish the pasture. These Hemiptera then no longer find their place in these species-poor natural habitats.

On the other hand, forest development on untapped or abandoned grasslands and grasslands in mountainous areas is problematic for cicadas and many other insects. Finally, cicadas are seeing their habitat disappear due to a decline in logging and, therefore, forest closures, FOEN concludes.

Switzerland is home to 56,000 different species of plants, animals and fungi. The red lists are updated every ten to fifteen years. Threatened status is determined according to the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.




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