The Impact Of Deforestation On Bird Communication Biology Essay

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Introduction

Man by nature is given a beautiful world. Man embarked upon many activities that cause tremendous damage to nature. One such activity is deforestation. Deforestation can be defined as indiscriminate cutting or over harvesting of trees for lumber or pulp, or to clear the land for agriculture, ranching, construction or other human activities. (Citation “Deforestation” Microsoft®Encarta®2009 [DVD].Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.)

Birds are of significant benefit to Man, they are good sources of food, some species of birds help to clean dead remains of animal matter from the Earth. Birds are of economic importance to Man: feathers are used to make hats and other expensive clothing. Bird watching in Guyana and other countries bring in foreign exchange.

Most birds today became extinct due to deforestation practices. Deforestation led to habitats destruction, species extinction, and migration of species.

Destruction to bird habitats –

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The cutting of forest, clearing of underbrush and burning of field has removed vast areas of bird homes. (Citation Garrett, Kimball. “Bird “Microsoft ®Encarta ®2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA Microsoft Corporation, 2008)

Unnecessary drainage of marshes and lowering of water the water in ponds and lakes have deprived water birds and wading birds of both food and nesting sites (Citation Author Name: Truman J. Moon, James H. Otto, Albert Towle Modern Biology, Year published 1963.)

The relentless clearing of hardwood forest outweighed the cause of the extinction of famous passenger pigeons, whose Eastern North American populations may have once number in the billions. (Citation Garrett, Kimball. “Bird” Microsoft ®Encarta ®2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA Microsoft Corporation, 2008)

The fragmentation of habitats into small parcels is harmful to birds because it increases their vulnerability to predator and parasites (Citation Garrett, Kimball. “Bird” Microsoft ®Encarta ®2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA Microsoft Corporation, 2008)

Passenger Pigeon

Once abundant in North America, the passenger pigeon became extinct in 1914 as a result of extensive hunting and loss of habitat. This specimen is from a museum in Saskatchewan, Canada.Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation

In Southern part of North America song birds are losing traditional nesting sites as tropical forest are destroyed and shade trees are removed coffee plantation ( Citation- Garrett, Kimball L. “ Bird” Microsoft®Encarta®2009 [DVD] Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation,2008)

Scarlet Tanager

The scarlet tanager is the most brilliantly colored of the North American songbirds. Although largely insectivorous and arboreal in its feeding habits, the scarlet tanager also eats fruits and berries and will occasionally forage for food on the ground. The scarlet tanager's diligence in providing for its young is often taken advantage of by the parasitic cowbird, which lays its eggs in the tanager's nest.

Bill Dyer/Photo Researchers, Inc. /BBC Natural History Sound Library. All rights reserved.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Destruction of bird habitats can lead to loss of mate. Mates are loosed during migration. Some birds are monogamous; they have only one mate during a life time. In this case birds suffer to look for another mate.

Clearing of the forest for mining emits pollutants and other poison which threatens bird's outright, limit their ability to reproduce, or diminish their food supplies. (Citation Garrett, Kimball. “Bird” Microsoft ®Encarta ®2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA Microsoft Corporation, 2008).

Quoted from (American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181

abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire. Design: Gemma Radko)

The greatest threat facing Neotropical migrants is habitat loss, and nowhere is this more acutely felt than on migration stopover and wintering sites across Latin America and the Caribbean. For the 71 Neotropical migratory bird species on the WatchList 2007, there is increasing scientific evidence that some or all of their population declines are linked to habitat loss or threats on their wintering grounds.

Deforestation in Latin America is accelerating at an alarming rate, driven by the needs of the rapidly expanding

human population, which tripled between 1950 and 2000. The projected human population growth shows

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substantial momentum; for example, Mexico's population is expected to increase nearly 50% by 2030.

Estimates of the percentage of remaining forests that are lost each year in the Neotropics are generally around 1-2%. However, stronghold areas for wintering migrants, typically in humid forest ecosystems of Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, and the northern Andes, have already been devastated, and in some cases over 90% of major ecosystems have already been lost to deforestation. The Worm-eating and Swainson's warblers occur almost exclusively in mature tropical forests, making deforestation a severe threat to these species. Another well-documented form of habitat loss for migrants over the past three decades is the wholesale conversion of shade coffee to sun varieties, particularly in Colombia, which is contributing to the precipitous decline of the Cerulean Warbler. There is also a lack of protected areas in key ecosystems for migrants, and what little habitat is protected is often ineffective and not adequately guarded against unsustainable development or illegal logging.

The small amount of forest that remains are highly fragmented, degraded, and still is being cleared. This

Situation is being exacerbated by the growing demand for biofuels and agricultural production for exports.

Colombia is currently planning to convert 7.4 million acres of forests into croplands for biofuels, much of it for the U.S. and European markets. Cutting forests to establish monoculture grass pasturelands for cattle is ubiquitous throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Most of the public and private nature reserves in Latin America, including the bird reserves American Bird Conservancy and its partners have created to protect primary forests, are threatened by unsustainable, fire-dependent monoculture grazing regimes in their buffer zones. Duke University ecologist John Terborgh estimates as many as half of all land birds that winter south of the United States funnel into just five countries: Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas. As a result, deforestation in these countries has a particularly severe impact on migratory bird populations. Mexico has only 50% of its forests left, Haiti has lost 97% of its original forest cover, and Cuba has permanently converted three-quarters of its forests to agriculture, and the forests of the Dominican Republic have been reduced by 71%. Only the Bahamas still has most of its forests intact. With less and less suitable habitat and food resources available in Latin America, the outlook for migrants is grim unless effective conservation measures are instituted and supported over time. (Citation American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181 abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire. Design: Gemma Radko)

Quoted from (American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181 abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire. Design: Gemma Radko)

Suitable habitat and food resources along the way are critical for migratory birds to succeed in their marathon fall

and spring migrations. Fewer rest stops or insufficient food to fuel the journey, add stress that can significantly undermine

their chances of survival or breeding success. Migratory birds often flock together in staging areas before embarking on their journey. Most species make several stops on the way, to rest, refuel, and in some cases, gain sufficient weight to breed at their destination. If these staging areas and stopover habitats are degraded, or completely lost, it can greatly reduce the survival rates and breeding success of the migrants that depend on them, ultimately resulting in overall population declines. (Citation American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181 abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire. Design: Gemma Radko)

Quoted from (American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181 abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire. Design: Gemma Radko)

Loss and fragmentation of breeding habitat

Due to resource extraction and a growing human population that results in more development and land conversion for suburban sprawl, there are fewer and fewer large blocks of unbroken habitat available for migratory birds.

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This is of particular concern for species that rely on large stands of mature forests for breeding, or those that are particularly

vulnerable to edge effects, including increased noise, traffic, predation, and brood parasitism by cowbirds. Mountaintop removal/valley fill coal mining operations are causing habitat fragmentation and the devastation of habitat in West Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Most of the mining areas are in mature forested habitat, tops of the mountains are then removed and deposited in the valleys below, further destroying riparian and other habitats. Species that rely on mature forest habitats in the Appalachian region, such as the Kentucky Warbler in the understory, the Worm-eating Warbler in cove hardwoods, the Wood Thrush in moist hardwoods, and the Louisiana Waterthrush along wooded streams, are adversely impacted by forest fragmentation and habitat loss caused by mountaintop removal mining. Most notably affected, though, is the Cerulean Warbler, a species that has declined drastically over the last 40 years, particularly in the Appalachian coalfields that make up the core of its breeding range. Cerulean Warblers need large tracts of mature, structurally-diverse, deciduous forests, which are being removed by mountaintop mining operations, creating large forest openings and fragmentation of forest cover. Ceruleans nesting near these openings occur in reduced density and have lower breeding success. Mined areas are often not reclaimed to forests, since it is much less expensive and time-consuming to reclaim an area to grasses than it is to plant trees. As a result, forest regeneration on previously mined areas is extremely slow. Often, the soils are compacted so firmly that trees are unable to take root, meaning that the areas will remain as grass or shrublands for many years to come. Many bird species, such as the Bay-breasted Warbler and Olive-sided Flycatcher, migrate to the Boreal Forest in Canada, where timber, mining, and drilling operations are spreading at a rapid pace. Logging is often allowed during nesting season, and as a result, many bird nests are destroyed each year. ( Citation American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181 abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire. Design: Gemma Radko)

REFERENCES

American Bird Conservancy, 1731 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. 20009 • 202-234-7181

abc@abcbirds.org • www.abcbirds.org

Written and compiled by: Karen Cotton, Michael Fry, Steve Holmer, Alicia King, Darin Schroeder, Gavin Shire.

Design: Gemma Radko

Garrett, Kimball. “Bird” Microsoft ®Encarta ®2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA Microsoft Corporation, 2008)