African fish eagle catching a catfish in Lake Baringo, Kenya (Credit: Mehmet Karatay, via Wikimedia Commons)
Over 1,300 species of birds are facing extinction internationally, according to National Geographic Magazine. This threat is due to habitat loss, climate change, chemical poisoning, and shrinking food stores.
Scientists believe that understanding birds’ fates can lead to understanding humanity’s future. In the 1970’s, chemicals DDT and PCBs were deemed responsible for bird deaths and were banned in the United States and a majority of other countries. However, researchers are still finding birds with DDT in their systems in spite of the long ban.
Research implies that the same chemicals devastating bird populations may also be harmful to humans’ reproductive systems. Since birds tend to live long lives, scientists can study them over time to speculate what effects the chemicals could have on humans.
Image: African fish eagle catching a catfish in Lake Baringo, Kenya (Credit: Mehmet Karatay, via Wikimedia Commons)