At least 10 bird species on brink of extinction in Netherlands: report

A number of bird species disappeared from the Netherlands over the past decades and more will follow if measures aren't taken, Vogelbescherming said in a new book Bedreigde vogels in Nederland. At least 10 bird species are on the brink of disappearing due to the destruction of their habitats and the decline of insects, reports.

In almost all habitats multiple bird species have deteriorated or even disappeared since the 1950s. The main cause of this is the change in the agriculture landscape and the increased use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. 

If nothing changes, the European turtle dove will be the next bird species to disappear from the Netherlands. Since the fifties, this species declined by over 90 percent. Meadow birds, such as the godwit, are also at risk of extinction. 

"If you take specific measures, there is a possibility of improvement, but you have to actually do it", Kees De Pater of Vogelbescherming said to the Volkskrant. "The population recovery among water- and swamp birds in recent years shows that the tide can be turned."

According to De Pater, the farm landscape must change and the use of nitrogen and pesticides must be reduced so that habitats can be restored. Planting strips of flowers along fields can also help. "All inhabitants of the Netherlands can help to restore the basic quality of our living environment."