Insect decline has resulted in massive decline of the buntings

Buntings are a group of Eurasian and African passerine birds of the family Emberizidae. Insect food sources must be available to them for reproduction. Their populations are in peril since the introduction of neonicotinoid insecticides in agriculture, which wipe out insects, drastically illustrated by the recent range-wide population collapse in the Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola). There are signals of a strong decline also in the Rustic Bunting (Emberiza rustica), but no range-wide assessment of population trends in this superabundant and widespread bunting species has yet been undertaken. Massive decline of Corn Buntings (Emberiza calandra) has been noted in Scotland and Ireland in the last few decades, and the species is now extinct in the Netherlands. The population size of the Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana) in Europe was halved in the last decade. Yellowhammers (Emberiza citrinella) have experienced a considerable decline over the past 25 years, and therefore have been classified on the Red List as a species of considerable conservation concern.