Hundreds of bird species in India are in decline, according to the country’s first major report on the state of bird populations. Birds of prey and waterbirds seem to have been hit particularly hard owing to habitat destruction, hunting and the pet trade. But it’s not all bad news. Species such as the house sparrow seem to be doing better than previously thought. The State of India’s Birds report, released on 17 February, relied on more than 10 million observations from birdwatchers recorded in the online repository of worldwide bird sightings, eBird. The report’s authors — researchers from 10 government and non-profit research and conservation groups — used eBird data to analyse long-term trends for 261 bird species. That is, the proportional change in the frequency of reported sightings of since 1993. They found that more than half of those species have declined since 2000. The group also looked at the current annual trends in 146 species; nearly 80% have declined in the past 5 years.
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