The swallow population in the province of Groningen is in dramatic decline.
Translation by Traci White
Fewer and fewer nests are being found in the region, and the chicks that are found are often in weak condition. Groningen ecologist Jan Doevendans told Dagblad van het Noorden that the birds are suffering due to a lack of insects: chemicals used in agriculture to kill weeds are also very effective at getting rid of bugs, which is depleting a crucial food source for swallows.
“Each nest needs 3,000 to 4,000 insects a day”, Van Doeveren says. “There is something deeply alarming going on if insect populations in the Lauwersmeer region, which is a large area with little light and noise pollution, are in decline.” Van Doeveren says that the shrinking insect population poses an existential threat to the birds.
Back in May, NOS reported that the Dutch nature preservation organisation Natuurmonumenten had observed far fewer insects in North Brabant and Drenthe: 54 percent fewer moths and 72 percent fewer ground beetles. That report identified the amount of phosphate being used in the agriculture industry.
Photo source: Wikipedia