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Our Mission
SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
Home  > How to help > Green tips > Birds and Agriculture
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Birds and Agriculture
According to the data of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, farmlands birds are today one of the most threatened groups of birds in Europe. The average level of the Farmland Common Bird Index has reached its lowermost value since 1980, showing a reduction of around 48%.

Because of their higher position in the food chain, birds are good indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem health. When they start disappearing, it means that something is wrong and it is therefore necessary to act.

Biodiversity in farmlands – why to preserve?
Farming systems depend on services provided by the natural ecosystems, such as the regulation of the water and nutrients cycles, the pollination of the crops and the natural control of pests.
Biodiversity, in turn, plays a very important role in the maintenance of natural ecosystems. Birds, for instance, influence the ecosystems in a complex manner, regulating the populations of the species they feed on, helping with the dispersal of seeds and promoting their germination.

Given that many modern agricultural practices entail soil degradation and groundwater contamination, as well as the loss of natural habitats and, consequently, of biodiversity, the agricultural ecosystems, landlords and farmers may certainly benefit from the implementation of practices that favour biodiversity and the proximity to natural ecosystems.

A rural landscape rich in biodiversity is also an important factor for attracting tourists, propelling local economies.
Which are the most adequate agricultural practices?
You may find some proposals for simple and costless management strategies in the following page.


Picture: Domingos Leitão
Text: © Filipa Machado
Translation: Rafael Galupa







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