A l'UM la science [S02-ep24]: From declining birds to yeast

This week on A l'UM la science, ISEM researchers Vincent Devictor and Stanislas Rigal talk about the decline of European birds and its major cause: intensive farming practices. The report takes us to the Science pour l'œnologie laboratory and Agnès Pesenti presents the Street science exhibition. A program broadcast on Divergence FM every Wednesday at 6pm.

Perhaps you have or will take advantage of the long May bank holidays to get out of the city and enjoy the countryside, the river or the forest. On the agenda: fresh air, starry skies and perhaps waking up to birdsong. For this last privilege, you'll probably have to put your ear to the ground a little, not that birds have become voiceless, but their chorus is getting smaller every year, so if you have the joy of catching a whistle or other trill, be aware that you may be hearing a song of resistance.

In 40 years, Europe's overall bird population has declined by 25%, with 20 million birds disappearing every year, and 800 million since the 1980s. These are the figures from an unprecedented study carried out by a team of researchers from the CNRS, the University of Montpellier, the Museum of Natural History and numerous European countries. They have quantified the direct impact of human activities on avian fauna. I can hear you now: cat, cat, cat! Put away your claws: today's culprit is not a ball of fur, but the increasingly intensive farming practices that use fertilizers and pesticides to decimate bird ecosystems, adding to the damage caused by global warming.

Our guests today are Vincent Devictor and Stanislas Rigal, researchers in ecology and conservation biology at the Institut des sciences de l'évolution(ISEM). They authored this study, published in the journal PNAS on May 15.

In the second half of the program, we're off to the Institut Agro campus, and more specifically to the Sciences pour l'œnologie laboratory, where Jean-Luc Legras opens the doors of CIRM-levures, a biological resource center housing over 4,000 yeast isolates.

Last but not least, Agnès Pesenti of the Scientific Culture Department takes you on a journey through the world of science with theStreet Science exhibition, on view from May 24 at the Jardin des Plantes.

At UM la science you've got the program, here we go!

Coproduction: Divergence FM / Université de Montpellier
Lucie Lecherbonnier
Lucie Lecherbonnier / Aline Périault
Reporting and editing: Lucie Lecherbonnier
Production: Naomi Charmetan

Listen to the program "A l'UM la science" on Divergence FM 93.9

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