How Many Feral Birds Are There On Our Planet Earth? You Might Be Impressed By The Reply

Photo: Stock Photos from GODI PHOTO/Shutterstock

What is the total number of wild birds on our planet? Consider the pigeons you see on your route to work the songbirds in your yard and the seagulls at the beach. These popular creatures are just a few of the tens of thousands of bird species that exist on the planet. Your avian neighbors will be unique—yet vital—parts of your local ecosystem no matter where you reside. Estimating the number of individual birds on Earth is akin to estimating the number of jellybeans in a huge container. What's your best guess?

If you estimated around 50 billion, you're on the right track according to a new cutting-edge scientific study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. What method did the team use to count so many birds? The team began by assessing available eye-witness data similar to counting visible rows of jellybeans in a container. The researchers looked over 600,000 bird sightings submitted to eBird, a network of citizen scientists and birders. The team's big-data methodology is built around these sitings.

The fact that there are fifty billion birds on the planet is incredible. The figure is, however, lower than some of the study's estimates. The median estimate was 428 billion dollars, while the mean (average) was substantially higher. There are potential biases in any big data technique. Birdwatchers, for example, maybe on the lookout for specific species and more likely to report them. As a result, the researchers factored in a "detectability" component when estimating species-specific estimations. Despite significant uncertainty in the estimations, they are very detailed and include data for 9,700 different bird species (92 percent of all avian species on the planet).

Why are wild bird population estimates significantly globally? This macro-ecological approach allows for a wide view of world change. To keep track of bird welfare the researchers plan to repeat their investigation every few years. “We will need to repeat and refine this effort to keep tabs on biodiversity—especially as human-caused changes to the world continue and intensify,” said co-author Dr. Corey Callaghan.

Some bird species necessitate careful monitoring of population data. The Chinese Crested Tern, Noisy Scrub-bird, and Invisible Rail are among the 12 percent of species having populations of less than 5,000 individuals. Others are doing well. The only four species with populations above one billion are the House Sparrow (1.6 billion), European Starling (1.3 billion), Ring-billed Gull (1.2 billion), and Barn Swallow (1.1 billion). However, co-author and Associate Professor Will Cornwell warns that “if their population numbers are going down, it could be a real alarm bell for the health of our ecosystem.” for any species. Another useful statistic to monitor the health of our world and feathered friends is macro-ecology.

According to the latest groundbreaking study, the total number of birds on the planet is believed to reach 50 billion.

Photo: Stock Photos from KUTTELVASEROVA STUCHELOVA/Shutterstock

Source of the information: ScienceAlert

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