To the editor:
The State of Montana lists over 60 birds as “species of concern,” including the threatened piping plover and the more seriously endangered interior least tern and whooping crane. That is over 60 species that are at risk in Montana, and the biggest risk is loss of habitat.
“Habitat loss is now the single greatest overall threat to birds,” according to Howard Youth in “Winged Messengers,” published by Worldwatch Institute.
Floods, droughts and storms affect birds and their habitat.
Habitat is lost to agricultural, residential and commercial development, and fragmented by roads, pipelines and transmission lines. Some birds strike communication towers, electrical transmission lines, tall buildings, wind turbines — even fences and big windows.
Disappearing species “tell us when a given natural system has been so abused that we should protect what is left of it,” explained Murray Gell-David Mann in a reprint of the classic “Last of the Curlew” about the Eskimo Curlew, which has not been seen in Montana for more than fifty years.
Birds need us to respect their habitat.
We need to respect habitat! As Youth explained, “The actions needed to ensure a secure future for birds are the very same ones needed to achieve a sustainable human future.”
As the migratory birds return this spring and stay through summer, please respect the habitat that makes Montana a great place for birds as well as us. We all need clean air, clean water, a healthy environment and a healthy climate.