As Bird Population Dwindles, North Dakota Not Immune


BISMARCK – A recently released study has revealed the number of wild birds in the sky has dropped by nearly three billion over the last 30 years.

But what about in North Dakota?

The study, published by Journal Science shows the bird population in the United States and Canada was probably just over 10 billion nearly half a century ago but has fallen 29% to about seven-point-two billion birds today.

The common house sparrow was at the top of the list for losses while grassland birds are about half of what they once were.

So how does North Dakota fit into all this?

KX News e spoke with the Game And Fish Department and they tell us one of those grassland species suffering locally is the Western Meadowlark.

“Are the insect populations just crashing too? So is there grassland out there where if there’s nothing to eat then their not able to raise their young either, So it’s hard to find a Western Meadowlark east of Jamestown anymore, they’re just gone,” said Sandra Johnson, Conservation Biologist with the ND Game & Fish Dept.

Johnson adds the Chestnut-Collared Longspur and the Long Billed Curlew are two other species in steep decline across North Dakota.

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