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Electromagnetic Pollution as a Possible Explanation for the Decline of House Sparrows in Interaction with Other Factors

Authors
  • balmori, alfonso
Publication Date
Sep 21, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/birds2030024
OAI: oai:mdpi.com:/2673-6004/2/3/24/
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

In recent decades, there has been a decline of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), mainly in European cities, and several hypotheses have been proposed that attempt to determine the causes of this rapid decline. Previous studies indicated that house sparrows were significantly negatively associated with increasing electromagnetic radiation and sparrows disappeared from areas most polluted. In addition, there are many studies on the impact of radiation on other bird and non-bird species, as well as numerous laboratory studies that demonstrated detrimental effects at electric field strength levels that can be found in cities today. Electromagnetic radiation is the most plausible factor for multiple reasons, including that this is the only one that affects the other hypotheses proposed so far. It is a type of pollution that affects productivity, fertility, decreases insects (chicken feed), causes loss of habitat, decreases immunity and can promote disease. Additionally, the recent sparrow decline matches the deployment of mobile telephony networks. Further, there are known mechanisms of action for non-thermal effects of electromagnetic radiation that may affect sparrows causing their decline. Thus, electromagnetic radiation must be seriously considered as a factor for house sparrows’ decline, probably in synergy with the other factors previously proposed.

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