SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Bird populations across the Ocean State are declining, according to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

In its recently released State of Our Birds report, the Audubon Society identified nine species that it will track over the next few years.

Those species include the chimney swift, barn swallow, common yellowthroat, prairie warbler, eastern towhee, wood thrush, black-and-white warbler, scarlet tanager and red-winged blackbird.

The Audubon Society attributed the population declines to human population growth, natural habitat loss, decline in prey abundance and climate change.

In total, the report estimates that one-third of the birds breeding on Audubon Society wildlife refuges are experiencing long-term population declines.

“We need birds more than they need us,” Audubon Director of Avian Research Dr. Charles Clarkson said. “We are slowly losing them from the fabric of our existence.”

The nine bird species have been dubbed “responsibility birds,” meaning their populations will be monitored to mitigate and reverse declines, according to the report.

“Conservation is a lengthy process,” Clarkson said. “Stopping the decline is not going to happen overnight, but we need to get the message out now.”

“The hope is that the more people that become aware of the loss of our birds, the more we can act together,” he added. “Our collective actions and choices can make a real difference.”

The Audubon Society plans to release another report in May on migrating species.