Saturday, May 2, 2015
Soybean production in the Amazon destroys habitat for migrating birds
Spring season is now in full swing, with bluebells blooming and daffodils dancing. And, even sweeter, there is the sound of songbirds singing.
Now is peak migration time for many of these songbirds and they and other neotropical migrantsare finally returning north to their breeding grounds – your backyards and gardens included! Bird lovers and wildlife gardeners can plant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to feed and provide nesting spots for birds close to home, but what about the state of the habitat these same birds need when they fly south? Many of these birds overwinter in the Amazon.
These species depend on forested habitats for food and shelter, but forests across the globe are disappearing at an alarming rate. About 30-37 million acres of forest are lost each year, the equivalent of 36 football fields per minute!
However, there is some good news for our migratory friends and for their forested homes down south.
This agreement has been incredibly effective at safeguarding critical wildlife habitat against deforestation for soy in the Brazilian Amazon, thus helping to ensure that our migratory friends have a place to call home during the cold winter months in the United States.
According to the study, without the Soy Moratorium, almost 5 million acres of Amazon forest could be legally cleared for soy. In other words, 5 million acres of habitat for migratory birds could be lost. So, this is a big victory for our wildlife. Additionally, this new study helps reinforce the position that NWF has supported for years: maintaining and strengthening the Soy Moratorium (and other forest-friendly initiatives) is the best strategy to reduce agriculture-related deforestation and protect our wildlife.
Learn more about the Soy Moratorium and other ways the NWF International Team is working to protect forests in the tropics.