Black storks' tales of woe in Latvia

The situation with the black stork population in Latvia is the worst in 15 years, said Māris Strazds, a leading researcher at the Biology institute of the Latvian University, in an interview with Latvian Television Monday.

Strazds said that the number of these beautiful rare birds won't be growing in the next 8 to 10 years. The population growth has not been this bad for many years.

At the moment there are 40% fewer black storks in Latvia than there were 15 years ago, and Strazds doesn't see the situation improving any time soon - rather, he thinks it will actually get worse.

He confirmed rumors that the population shrinkage of black storks is connected to Soviet-era DDT deposits, of which there are, said Strazds, more than a few. 

Strazds stressed that, if the DDT concentration is big enough to kill a bird, it becomes a problem not just for black storks. 

Incidentally, bird enthusiasts can watch a family of black storks on a live webcam here.

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