In Europe many breeds of ever-familiar song birds have disappeared over the years. Now it is the turn of the sparrows. In England, up to 90% of the sparrow population has disappeared, and Hamburg’s comparable loss sits at 50% and Prague’s populations have lost some 60 percent.
Is it disease or loss of habitat? Is it an increase in cats or the effects of acid rain? Or magpies or home improvements blocking nest areas? Dr Kate Vincent of DeMontfort University suggests that a decline in insects is leading to sparrow chicks starving to death. This effect is especially noticeable in Paris but also seen throughout Europe this spring, including Finland and Estonia.
Sparrows disappearing from Europe (5)