How do human activities make sparrows extinct?

The value of biological diversity - what the sparrows whistle from the roofs

Thu, 25.03.2021 - 1:14 p.m. - Christina Beck

Mao Zedong, China's "Great Chairman", identified the sparrow as one of four pests of the people. The birds, he announced, are pests that bring disease to humans and take away food. Therefore they should be destroyed. Millions of people took part in this nationwide hunt. For three days, the people of China scared the sparrows in their country with shouts, drums and colored flags and did not let them rest, so that they fell dead or exhausted from the sky. Two billion birds, not just sparrows, fell victim to the 1958 campaign - from small tits and finches to large herons, cranes and birds of prey. The effects on the ecological balance were fatal: the almost widespread extermination of birds was followed in the first “sparrow-free” summer by a plague of locusts with devastating crop failures. The cell biologist Christina Beck, Head of Communication at the Max Planck Society, spans a wide range from bird death and the loss of the biodiversity that is vital for us humans to concepts of renaturation. *

Biodiversity Loss - Reversing the Negative Trend

Thu, 09/10/2020 - IIASA

All over the world, plant and animal species are permanently disappearing as a result of human activities. An important new study led by the IIASA (International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis; Laxenburg bei Wien) concludes that by 2050 (or earlier) the decline in biodiversity can only be reversed through ambitious, integrated actions, by Steps to preserve and restore nature can be linked to a transformation of the food system. *

A spirit of optimism in animal ecology - bridges for more biodiversity

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 8:12 am - Martin Wikelski

Almost everywhere on earth biodiversity is declining, both in terms of the diversity of species and the abundance of organisms. In order to be able to protect endangered species more effectively than before, a new research field was created in 2018 with the establishment of the Icarus System (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space). Icarus is a satellite-based observation system with which a wide variety of animal species equipped with mini-transmitters can be tracked around the clock almost everywhere on earth. For the first time, dangers can be recognized at an early stage and habitats that are important for species survival can be identified. The head of this initiative, Prof. Dr. Martin Wikelski, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior (Radolfzell) gives an interview on this development below. *

Christian Sturmbauer

Univ.Prof. Dr. Christian Sturmbauer,

Born in Linz in 1960, studied biology at the University of Innsbruck, completed his habilitation there in zoology and completed research stays at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

In 2002 he was appointed professor of zoology at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz, where he has also been the head of the Institute of Zoology since 2004.

Viktor Bruckman

Dr. Viktor J. Bruckman, M.Sc., B.Sc.

Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies (KIÖS)

Viktor Bruckman (* 1981 in Graz) is a forest scientist. He studied at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

The rapid decline of nature is not caused by nature - The Living Planet Report 2018 (WWF) shows alarming consequences of human overexploitation

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 6:25 am - IIASA

The WWF's “Living Planet Report”, which has been published every two years since 2000, was published last week. The freely accessible 146-page report [1] shows a sobering picture of the global impact human activities have on flora and fauna, forests, oceans, rivers and the climate. The way in which we humans feed, supply with energy and finance our societies mean that nature and the services that sustain us reach their limits. The time window for countermeasures is narrow, the global community is calling for a joint rethink of the value of nature, its protection and its recovery. Among the 59 authors from 26 different international institutions, researchers from the Laxenburg near Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis - IIASA - made a significant contribution to the report. *

Floods - an ecological necessity

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 8:52 am - Mathias Jungwirth & Severin Hohensinner

Floods and the associated process events are natural occurrences. From the point of view of ecology, floods represent habitat-preserving and thus absolutely necessary "disturbances". The long-term maintenance, development and restoration of flowing waters therefore requires the initiation / restoration of natural processes.

The Soils of the Earth: Diversity and Change since the Neolithic

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:29 PM - Hans-Rudolf BorkHumans have been influencing the earth's soils since the earliest times. Large areas are deforested and overexploited in order to be able to practice arable farming and animal husbandry, resulting in erosion and destruction of the soil. On a trip to different regions of the world, the ecosystem researcher Hans-Rudolf Bork (University of Kiel) shows us how the soils have developed there and what consequences have arisen from it [1].

Life in the river after (extreme) floods I

Fri, October 31, 2014 - 8:52 am - Mathias Jungwirth & Severin Hohensinner

Floods play a central role in the ecological function of river landscapes; the constant destruction and recreation of habitats generates an enormously high biodiversity of vegetation and animal world. The aquatic ecologists Mathias Jungwirth and Severin Hohensinner (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) characterize intact river landscapes and show how river regulations and power plant construction have seriously changed them [1].

Species emergence - species extinction. The short and long term perspective of evolution

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 8:29 am - Christian Sturmbauer

Species extinction and emergence are integral parts of the evolutionary process. They do not run continuously but are dictated by natural events in the environment. The zoologist and evolutionary biologist Christian Sturmbauer (University of Graz) uses model organisms - East African cichlids - to describe how biodiversity is created and what role the environment and competition play in it [1].