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Intensive Farming May Not Hurt Tropical Bird Diversity

Cara J

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Farming more intensely in some areas may not impact tropical birds if it means leaving areas with more natural habitat alone, according to new research. “We need to be thinking far more effectively about how we can tie high intensity agriculture together with the long-term protection of greater areas of threatened habitats,” said David Edwards, a lecturer in Conservation Science at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and the lead author of a study released yesterday in Current Biology. He said that some conservationists have suggested that less intensive farming may benefit bird populations, but the problem with this is that more land would be needed for agriculture in order to meet sustainable food demands for human populations. The researchers set out to find out whether less intensive farming that incorporated some small natural forest features would even benefit bird biodiversity. They examined farming practices in the Choco-Andes region of Colombia, counting birds and recording species in intensively farmed and in less-intensively farmed areas. Instead of just counting the number of birds, Edwards and the other researchers wanted to determine if biodiversity was being sustained, so they looked at whether genetically distinct birds were being conserved. A cattle [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/intensive-farming-may-not-hurt-tropical-bird-diversity/

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