Modern man serves as both a direct and an indirect cause of the death of birds. In the early 1970's, human activity was responsible for the death of approximately 196 million birds per year, or about 1.9% of the wild birds of the continental United States that died each year. Hunting was the largest direct mortality factor and accounted for about 61% of human related bird deaths. Control or prevention of avian depredations took about 1% of the total, and all research and propagation about 0.5%. Collision with man-made objects was the greatest indirect human cause of avian deaths. accounting for about 32% of the human related deaths. Pollution and poisoning caused the death of about 2% of the total. A relatively few species account for most of this mortality but continue to maintain large, harvestable populations, suggesting that the numbers of most bird species are essentially unaffected by the human activities discussed. Other activities of man that do not necessarily result in the death of birds but rather reduce reproductive potential are more likely to have long-term effects on avian populations.
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Federal Government Series
Human related mortality of birds in the United States