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Improving water quality could help conserve insectivorous birds


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A new study shows that a widespread decline in abundance of emergent insects—whose immature stages develop in lakes and streams while the adults live on land—can help to explain the alarming decline in abundance and diversity of aerial insectivorous birds (i.e. preying on flying insects) across the USA. In turn, the decline in emergent insects appears to be driven by human disturbance and pollution of water bodies, especially in streams. This study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, is one of the first to find evidence for a causal link between the decline of insectivorous birds, the decline of emergent aquatic insects, and poor water quality.

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