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Bird populations are declining, including in the Triangle.

A 2019 study led by bird research and conservancy organizations found “major” population loss among North America’s birds — nearly 3 billion birds have been lost since the 1970s. That’s more than a 25% decline in total bird abundance.

“That finding was a really big shock, and maybe a wake-up call that our ecosystems are no longer able to support biodiversity in the way that they once were,” said Allen Hurlbert, a UNC-Chapel Hill biology professor.

According to UNC-Chapel Hill biology professor Allen Hurlbert, white-eyed vireo populations are among the approximately 13 well-monitored bird species that are doing well in North Carolina’s Triangle region. Twenty-two well-monitored species show a strong decreasing trend.
Hurlbert oversees a lab that explores large-scale patterns in biodiversity across the globe. He also runs North Carolina’s Mini Breeding Bird Survey, a bird monitoring program that spans Orange, Durham and Chatham counties.


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