Friday, August 10, 2007

EU Birds Directive

Today, the journal Science publishes a BirdLife International (RSPB driven) analysis showing that the European Union’s Birds Directive has made a significant difference in protecting many of the continent’s most threatened birds from further decline. The report is 'dry' with odds ratios, proportional odds models and such like, so read the Daily Telegraph report instead at:;jsessionid=

The Science paper shows that the Birds Directive has clearly helped those species considered to be most at risk, partly through the designation of Special Protection Areas (SPAs). The Birds Directive was adopted in 1979 and is now binding law for all EU countries, it requires special conservation measures for a number of listed species.

There are 46 species listed for protection in the UK - either as a nesting species or a winter visitor - and at least 23 of these species have increased. Apart from Bittern, Peregrine, Nightjar and Kingfisher most of these 23 are only winter visitors or migrants through the north-west. Interestingly Avocet is only noted as 'fluctuating' (but increasing overall) -well certainly here.

Image 'borrowed' from John Dempsey's blog at:


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