Saturday, August 19, 2006

The (Precarious) State of the UK’s Birds 2005 - new report.

In 1995 twenty-six birds were identified as being the most threatened and each was the subject of a biodiversity action plan (BAP) designed to reverse the trend by 2010. This recent report details that nine have improved, twelve (almost half) are still declining, and the rest have stabilised. (The full report is available from a link on the RSPB website).

Those suffering most are Turtle Dove (I’ve never seen or heard one in this country), Grey Partridge (fortunately doing quite well in these parts), Skylark (declining here too) and Bullfinch. Corn Bunting and Common Scoter are two species also listed as declining which have a presence in the north-west. Increasing species, present here, include Song Thrush, Tree Sparrow and Bittern. Reed Buntings are now considered to be stable.

Although we should rejoice at those species where numbers have increased, or at least remained stable, it is saddening to learn that Lapwing, House Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Cuckoo, Mediterranean Shearwater, Willow Tit and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker are all now being billed as potential BAP species.

It would be highly optimistic to suggest that all targets will be reached by 2010 – but we can live in hope.


Blogger drbob said...

The State of the Nations Birds 2005 is now available for download from the BTO homepage.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Richard Charles said...

As a fairly frequent visitor to Suffolk, and to Flatford Mill FSC in particular, I have the pleasure of seeing and hearing Turtle Dove each year, its call the quintessence of summer. Even there, locals are speaking anecdotally of shrinking numbers this year.

1:23 PM  

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