Birds living in agricultural areas are disappearing at a "vertiginous speed" in France, with populations that have on average reduced by a third in 15 years, alert Tuesday the CNRS and the Museum of Natural History.  The populations living in cultivated agricultural areas have clearly decreased and this trend has intensified further in 2016 and 2017, show the re-surveys made since 1989 by the "Temporary Monitoring of Common Birds" (STOC), which, within the Museum, also monitors the situation in cities and forests
For the Museum and the CNRS, this decline in the countryside "reaches a level close to the ecological catastrophe."
"We do not take great risks by saying that agricultural practices are well at the origin of this acceleration of the decline, "said AFP Grégoire Loïs, deputy director of Viginature, who oversees STOC, because the birds do not decline at the same pace in others circles.
"It there is a slight decline in the rest of the territory, but nothing to do in terms of amplitude "with agricultural areas, he adds.
In agricultural areas, species such as the skylark, the warbler grisette or ortolan sparrow have lost an average of one in three in fifteen years.
Another study, conducted by the CNRS since 1995 in the Deux-Sèvres, 160 areas of 10 hectares of a typical cereals plain French agricultural territories, comes to drive the nail.
According to this research, in 23 years, all species of lowland birds have seen their populations melt: the lark has lost more than one in three (-35% ), and partridge eight out of ten individuals.
All species are concerned, probably due to the "collapse of insects," note the two institutions.
This massive disappearance is concomitant to the intensification of practices in the last 25 years, particularly 2008-2009, a period which corresponds, inter alia, to the end of the fallows imposed by the Common Agricultural Policy, to the soaring wheat prices, to the resumption of the nitrate over-amendment allowing for over-protein wheat and to the generalization of neonicotinoid insecticides, adds their communiqué.