Four bird species found in San Luis Obispo County were included in a list of common birds whose numbers have dropped significantly over the past 40 years, according to the National Audubon Society.
The bird conservation group today listed the northern pintail, horned lark, loggerhead shrike and lark sparrow as California species in decline. The northern pintail is a winter resident of San Luis Obispo County while the other three are year-round inhabitants. The rufous hummingbird, which migrates through the county in spring and fall, also made the list.
Audubon lists habitat loss to development and industrialized agriculture as well as climate change as the main reasons for the birds’ decline.
“Their decline tells us we have serious work to do, from protecting local habitats to addressing the huge threats from global warming,” said Carol Browner, Audubon chairwoman and former EPA administrator.
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– David Sneed