Crashes in Migrant numbers may be World Wide - North America / Japan?

To: Tun Pin Ong <>, Carl Clifford <>, Birding-Aus Aus <>
Subject: Crashes in Migrant numbers may be World Wide - North America / Japan?
From: robert morris <>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 20:43:50 +0000
There's been a lot of press in the UK (coming from the US ornithological press 
and due to declining numbers of North American vagrants in the UK) over the 
last few years regarding the declining numbers of song birds in North America. 
Cerulean warbler is the species which springs to mind as really being in 
trouble (Breeding Bird Survey results show declines equating to 26% per decade 
over the period 1980-2002, but longer-term declines are even more severe see:
 Other species in declined include:

 Bell's Vireo Rufous Hummingbird  Bicknell's Thrush  Golden-cheeked Warbler  
Golden-winged Warbler Swainson's Warbler Blue-winged Warbler Hermit Warbler 
Dickcissel Kentucky Warbler Olive-sided Flycatcher Swainson's Hawk Painted 
Bunting Prothonotary Warbler Wood Thrush Worm-eating Warbler Willow Flycatcher 
Virginia's Warbler
 SEE: With 
regards to waders, the Delaware Bay - Red Knot case is well known. I believe 
wader populations in North America are also showing downward trends but I've 
not heard of a general suggestion they are crashing, in a similar way to the 
Australian - East Asian Flyway numbers are declining.

Somewhat anecdotal, but my brother (Pete Morris) is a 'Birdquest' leader who 
does their spring Japan trip every year. When he and I first went to Japan, 
song birds - Siberian Thrushes, Siberian Blue Robins, Rubythroats etc. were all 
pretty common (this was only a decade ago). He now says he's lucky to see a Sib 
Thrush or Sib Blue Robin! The crash in song bird numbers there has been noted 
by their ornithologists (who he works with) and they are convinced that it is 
deforestation in SE Asia and Indonesia (the birds' migratory routes and 
wintering grounds) as their (the Japanese) forests have been left more or less 
untouched. It's somewhat ironic that Japanese logging companies are playing a 
large(but by no means exclusive role) in the destruction of rain forest in the 
areas their song birds winter!

Rob Morris  Brisbane, Australia > Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 06:21:53 -0700> From: 
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Crashes in Migrant numbers may 
be World Wide> To: ; > > Hi All,> 
> It is important to convince the general public that> the reduction in 
shorebird's number is wolrdwide or> for some major flyways.> > Despite the 
widely accepted downward trend there is> still a new species discovered among 
them - the> recently discovered but not-yet-officially- named> "White-faced" 
plover wintering in Thailand, Malaysia> and Singapore.> > However, there is one 
exception - the endangered> Nordmann's Greenshank is increasing in Malaysia 
this> few years, at least for one site. Am I judging it too> narrowly by data 
collected on one site? It is hard to> get an overall picture for this 
particular case.> > See the blog> > 
For other unprotected sites such as the Penrhyn> Estuary in Sydney, the 
shorebird is getting> disappointing each year until it is so difficult to> spot 
a Red Knot nowadays during its peak southward> migration.> > Regards,> Tun-Pin 
Ong> St Leonards NSW> > --- Carl Clifford <> wrote:> > > 
Dear All,> > > > There are signs that species on the Australia-East> > Asia 
flyway are > > not the only ones experiencing drastic reductions in> > numbers. 
A > > report from the 'Independent" in the indicate that> > similar crashes in 
> > numbers of species using the Europe-Asia flyway are> > occurring, see > >>> > > > 
crisis-812640.html> > > > I do not know if similar reductions in numbers are> > 
occurring in > > species using the North America-Neotropics flyway> > are 
happening, but > > one would imagine that it may be so. Can anyone on> > the 
list add any > > information on this flyway?> > > > These reductions in numbers 
on the Europe-Africa> > flyway are very > > worrying, not only for birders. So 
many of the> > species are > > insectivores and are important in controlling 
insect> > pests in food > > crops. Reduction of yields in Africa's food crops> 
> would lead to even > > greater risks of famines on the continent, not a> > 
pleasant thought. > > Increases in pests in Europe's food crops would lead> > 
to higher > > production costs and therefore higher food prices in> > the third 
world. > > A drop in bird numbers certainly has the potential> > for disaster 
if > > you look at all the implications.> > > > Carl Clifford> > > > 
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