Agricultural biodiversity has dramatically declined in recent years, especially due to the intensification of land use and mowing activities, an increase in the application of pesticides and manure, of indoor keeping of livestock, in the drainage of wetlands, in the loss in structural elements, such as hedges or fallow land, and a decreasing variability in crop types.
This is noticeable in the steep decline in farmland birds which need agricultural land for breeding and feeding. According to the 2021 issue of the European Red List of Birds,
„[…]13% of European birds are threatened with extinction with another 6% Near Threatened. Of 544 species assessed 30% of them are showing a decreasing trend.“
At the same time, birds are an indicator species on the state of our ecosystems. According to Micheal O’Briain, the Deputy Head of the Nature Unit, DG Environment, European Commission:
„Monitoring bird populations is essential to review the progress made towards achieving conservation goals, address gaps in knowledge, and define priorities for conservation action.
Therefore, BirdWatch is aligned with the statement of the EU’s Birds@Farmland Initiative that “Conservation of farmland birds is a duty under the Birds Directive and is essential to the success of the EU Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and the Farm to Fork Strategy”.“