The Impact Of Deforestation On The Bird Communication



Deforestation has adverse effects on populations as a whole. Birds communicate in various ways and for various reasons. Deforestation may mean the removal of trees and their replacement with roads, buildings etc. This essay focuses on the direct effect of deforestation on birds. Also, recommendations are included for a means of protecting bird communication even in the face of adverse destruction of forests.

Deforestation of the forest has lead to a number of bird and other animal species to become lost, probably lost for ever. This on going destruction of the forest, primarily the tropical forests , will lead and is continuously leading to the lost of bird net (home), the reduction of mating since birds participate in visual reproduction which is important in the maintenance of the number of offspring. Birds plays a very important role in there ecosystem, they are active dispersers, dispersing the seeds of fruits in which they eat hence; it may be safe to say the birds more or less help to scatter the seed and maintain the forest. The deforestation of the forest, also not only directly affects the diversity of birds, but also it is directly linked to the increase of the green house effect. The removal of trees destroys the soils on which the tees once stand hence; there will be lost of many organisms in which the birds feed and increase in runoff and erosion, this will further lead to cultural eutrophication which influences the hydrological system.

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Deforestation can be defined as the cutting, burning (factors that clears or remove the natural forest) down of the trees in an area. Many factors leads to the process called deforestation. The trees that are cut or burned are use for: construction of buildings for housing facilities, for farms (agricultural purposes), fuel and etc. the increasing rate of deforestation have placed a great deal of pressure which destroys, habitats, biodiversity and aridity. Deforested areas typically have a high level of erosion and also deforestation significantly impacts the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

There are many causes of deforestation or factors that lead to this problem, such as, mismanagement of the forest, lack of government policies in order to protect the forest and also urbanization. In 2000 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that “the role of population dynamics in a local setting may vary from decisive to negligible and that deforestation can result from ”a combination of population pressure and stagnating economic, social and technological conditions.“( Alain Marcoux (August 2000).” Population and deforestation). The destruction and degradation of the forest and its ecosystem has been sorted to be the economic incentives that are posed on the booming market. The benefits of forest as carbon sinks or biodiversity reserves typically go to powerful and richer developed nations and there is insufficient compensation for these services. Developing countries requires the incentives to bust there economies, so nations such as the United States of America, cut down their forests and benefited greatly from this deforestation, while the developing countries are denied the same opportunities. Hence, the poor and developing nations shouldn't have to with stand the cost of preservation these forests when the rich, developed nations created the problem.

Deforestation is said to have a direct effect on the green house effect which is estimated to be approximately 20% of the worlds green house effect. Based on the intergovernmental planet on climate change, deforestation is mainly done in the tropical regions (with the likes of Guyana and Brazil) accounts for more that a third of the total carbon dioxide emission. During the process of photosynthesis, plants (primarily green plant) convert carbon dioxide from the atmospheres to oxygen which the plant then puts it back into the atmosphere, hence, other organism use this oxygen in respiration e.g. birds. When the forest is not being cut, burning may take place to facilitate clearance of lands, carbon that is stored by the plant is released back into the atmosphere. The removal of the forest will influence the release of carbon that is stored in the soils that the forests once stand. The forest provides a carbon sink or carbon reservoirs when it absorbs the carbon dioxide from the environment. Reducing emissions from the tropical deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries has emerged as new potential to complement ongoing climate policies. The idea consists in providing financial compensations for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation”.(Bringing ‘REDD' into a new deal for the global climate, S. Wertz-Kanounnikoff, L. Ximena Rubio Alvarado, Analyses, nĂ‚° 2, 2007, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations).

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Deforestation has provided a great decline in the biodiversity that thrives well in these areas. The removal of these forests in the tropics where 80% of the world's diversity can be found will reduce dramatically if the rate of deforestation remains at the present rate.

Deforestations also influence the soil, by eroding the surface soil hence, soil runoff would greatly be increased and there will also be a lost in the organisms in which the birds feed on.

Bird communication is the shorter sound that distinguishes them which is often called bird calls. Songs are longer and more complex and are associated with courtship and mating, while calls tend to serve such functions as alarms or keeping members of a flock in contact.( Ehrlich, Paul R., David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye. ““Bird Voices” and “Vocal Development” from Birds of Stanford essays). Bird songs are best developed in the order of Passeriformes. Bird songs are said to have evolved for sexual selection. The male birds uses songs to mark there territories and to advertise fitness to others. Communication in the for of songs of bird calls may be and is done between individuals of the same species or between individuals of different species. Birds have a call that is considered to be a mobbing call which is done to get others when they are predators or a foreign in there territory. These calls are characterized by wide frequency spectra, sharp onset and termination, and repetitiveness which are common across species and are believed to be helpful to other potential “mobbers” by being easy to locate. The alarm calls of most species, on the other hand, are characteristically high-pitched making the caller difficult to locate (Marler, P. (1955). “Characteristics of some animal calls”. Nature 176: 6-8). Birds use there bird calls to locate there young. In some species of birds the birds call is often so distinct that humans can positively identify that species that is calling based on just listening to the calls. Some birds are great at mimicking other species. Vocal mimicry can include conspecifics, other species or even man-made sounds. Many hypotheses have been made on the functions of vocal mimicry including suggestions that they may be involved in sexual selection by acting as an indicator of fitness, help brood parasites, protect against predation but strong support is lacking for any function(Kelley, LA, RL Coe, JR Madden & SD Healy (2008). “Vocal mimicry in songbirds.”. Animal Behaviour 76: 521-528). Birds that mimic e.g. the oilbird and Swiftlets use an audible sound which echolocate in the darkness of caves.

Birds have distinct calls that may alarming when predators are in sight which may signal other that are in the vicinity of danger. Birds typically have five types of calls: call, song, territorial, fledgling, and alarm.

The greatest loss in the process deforestation is the lost diversity of bird species that are saturated in the forest.

If deforestation occurs, then locating a mate may be and will be impossible because some species of birds use visual display for the process of mating also if their habitat is destroyed this would lead to these being decline in the bird numbers. Woodpecker hits on wood with there beak to locate insects for food and also to attain a mate. If deforestation occurs, then the woodpecker would not have enough food for survival, nor would it be able to attract a mate. When trees are removed from the forest replacements are usually made with buildings, towers, roads, condos, etc. this means that any signals or vibrations that are transmitted by towers and the like, could disrupt any calls made by birds. Birds loss there nets and also sometimes they loss there undeveloped eggs/hatchlings. The canopy of the forest would not provide wind current for those birds that glide on wind current.


Since bird communication is very important to the survival of a bird, then steps should be taken towards the careful management of the forest. Even in situations where forests are removed for building purposes, there should be administrative measures which protect birds habitats and hence their survival.


  • Kelley, LA, RL Coe, JR Madden & SD Healy (2008). “Vocal mimicry in songbirds.”. Animal Behaviour 76: 521-528).
  • (Marler, P. (1955). “Characteristics of some animal calls”. Nature 176: 6-8)
  • Ehrlich, Paul R., David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye. ““Bird Voices” and “Vocal Development” from Birds of Stanford essays
  • Bringing ‘REDD' into a new deal for the global climate, S. Wertz-Kanounnikoff, L. Ximena Rubio Alvarado, Analyses, n 2, 2007, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations
  • Alain Marcoux (August 2000). “Population and deforestation
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