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Threats in the Wild

There are a many reasons that wild populations are declining. Here are the categories we use to show the causes of population decline in bird species.

Destruction of Habitat

There are many reasons that habitats are destroyed. These include:

  • Residential & commercial development
  • Energy production and mining
  • Transportation routes (roads, flight paths, railroads and shipping routes)
  • Natural system modification such as dams or controlled fires
  • Recreational activities such as watersports, skiing


Fishing, or aquaculture, is a significant cause of population decline in plants and animals. Over fishing reduces food sources for marine life, and bycatch, the incidental capture of non-target species, such as dolphins, marine turtles and seabirds is also a considerable problem.

Read more on WWF’s website.


Agriculture are major causes of population decline in the wild. Types of farming which influence animal and plant populations include timber crops and livestock farming.


As human populations and transport links expand, native species are becoming more vulnerable. Species/diseases of unknown origin can decimate populations of animals and plants.


Pollution comes in many forms and can dramatically influence wild populations. From litter in the sea to oil spills, there are thousands of different sources of pollution that are causing changes to natural environments and wildlife.

Hunting and Pet Trade

Animal populations are threatened by illegal hunting and from the pet pet trade. Wildlife crime is big business and a significant cause of population reductions in the wild.

Read more about how hunting and the pet trade effects wild populations on Birdlife International’s website.