Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wild Bird Indicators 1994-2005

On Friday 16th March DEFRA released the report ‘Wild Bird Indicators for the English Regions 1994-2005’.

Figures for the North West indicated that all native bird species and woodland birds showed an increase (average 8%) while, for farmland birds, there was no reliable change (only 10 of 18 species increasing). Overall however ALL indices for the North West were above the national trend.

Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpecker had the largest increases from the woodland indicator species, with Nuthatch, Blackcap and Goldcrest doing particularly well. Farmland birds increasing include Stock Dove, Greenfinch and Goldfinch with, conversely, Yellow Wagtail, Starling and Tree Sparrow showing large declines. Other birds indicated as doing well within the region were Kingfisher and Sand Martin.

However, the report states that results must be viewed with caution as comparisons between regions are not strictly valid – “some regional values are partly based on data from areas outside the region!” So not really a regional value then?

The full (44 page) report can be seen at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/wildlife/research

/download/wdbrds200703.pdf

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