Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Les oiseaux disparaissent des campagnes françaises à une « vitesse vertigineuse »”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.
“The birds of the French countryside are disappearing at breakneck speed […]. On average, their populations have shrunk by a third in fifteen years. “
The two surveillance networks have different methodologies:
- The MNHN network (STOC program) brings together the observations of ornithologists.
- The CNRS network has mobilized 160 measuring points of 10 hectares monitored since 1994 in the “CNRS Plaine et val de Sèvre” zone in 450 km² of agricultural land.
In the latter, Vincent Bretagnolle explains that the partridge, having declined from 80 to 90% and the last specimens encountered being “from the autumn releases, organized by the hunters”, it was “now virtually extinct”. This decline would accelerate in the late 2000s, but the link to the increased use of certain NNIs is only correlative.
Foucart recalls the study conducted by Caspar Hallman and published in PloS One in 2017 (Hallman et al. 2017) observing that, since the early 1990s, “the number of flying insects has declined from 75% to 80% in Germany”. This disappearance obviously impacts birds, even grain-eaters, which are insectivores at the beginning of their life, as Christian Pacteau of the LPO emphasizes.
The coordinator of the STOC network, Frédéric Jiguet, adds:
“That birds are doing badly indicates that the entire food chain [food chain] is in bad shape. And this includes the microfauna of soils, that is, what makes them alive and enables agricultural activities. “
To change this, it would be necessary to change the agricultural model according to Vincent Bretagnolle.