Research press release


Nature Communications

Ecology: Declines in bird communities create quieter springs

北米とヨーロッパの鳥のさえずりの音風景は、鳥の群集の減少傾向のために、より静かなものとなり、多様性も減ってきていることを報告する論文が、Nature Communications に掲載される。今回の知見は、人間の幸せな生活に影響を及ぼす可能性のある自然の音風景のさらなる劣化を防ぐために、保全の取り組みを充実させる必要があることを示唆している。


今回、Simon Butlerたちの研究グループは、過去25年間の調査データと鳥のさえずりの録音を併用して、北米とヨーロッパの鳥の音風景を再構築した。Butlerたちは、ヨーロッパ22か国、カナダ、米国の20万以上の観測地点で実施された市民科学モニタリングプログラムによる鳥類種の年次記録とデータを照合し、それぞれの鳥類種と発声を対応させて、毎年の各観測地点の複合音風景を作成した。その結果、音風景の音響的複雑さの減少傾向が認められ、その原因は、鳥類種の豊富さと存在数の減少とされた。ほとんどの地域では、年を追って音風景が静かになり、多様性が減った。


The birdsong soundscapes of North America and Europe are becoming quieter and less varied due to declining trends in bird communities, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The findings suggest additional conservation efforts are needed to prevent further deterioration of natural soundscapes, which could have implications for human wellbeing.

Half of the world’s population now live in cities and natural soundscapes play a key role in maintaining a connection to nature, which is known to have positive impacts on human health and well-being. Birdsong is a major contributor to these soundscapes, but human activities have caused widespread declines in bird abundance and species richness. Such declines may have resulted in impoverished acoustic environments, but comparisons between past and present avian soundscapes are hindered by a lack of historical recordings.

Simon Butler and colleagues combined survey data and birdsong recordings from the past 25 years to reconstruct avian soundscapes in North America and Europe. The authors collated annual bird species records and data from citizen science monitoring programs, representing more than 200,000 sites in 22 European countries, Canada, and the USA. The authors matched each bird species to its vocalisations and produced a composite soundscape for each site every year. The authors found a declining trend in the acoustic complexity of the soundscapes, due to the reduction in bird species richness and abundance. Over time, in most areas, the soundscapes were found to become quieter and less varied.

The deterioration of natural soundscapes could reduce the human experience of natural sounds, which in turn could impact human wellbeing, the authors suggest, and conservation efforts should focus on preventing this deterioration.

doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26488-1


メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週各ジャーナルからの最新の「注目のハイライト」をまとめて皆様にお届けいたします。