Birds vanishing from Britain: Survey

December 2nd, 2007 - 4:30 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 2 (ANI): An extensive study has revealed that popular species of birds such as the nightingale, the lesser spotted woodpecker, the wryneck, and woodland birds are vanishing in Britain.

According to the study of bird populations across 20 European countries, the species have dwindled almost to the point where they would be classed as endangered.

The study showed that some woodland bird numbers had fallen by up to 20 per cent in the last 20 years.

A separate study suggested that the condition could be even worse in Britain, with populations declining by more than 25 per cent.

According to the experts, changes in the management and type of woodland, combined with warming temperatures from climate change, have made it harder for many forest birds to find food and nesting sites.

Researchers found 11 species that had reached critical levels and are in need of urgent conservation.

Richard Gregory of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, who chairs the European Bird Census Council, warned that species such as the lesser spotted woodpecker and the wryneck were no longer breeding in the UK.

“These birds are in danger right across Europe. They are not just disappearing here in the UK, but on a much wider scale, the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

“Our paper highlights 11 species that for the first time are in real trouble right across Europe. They are quite different birds, however, with different specialisms,” he added.

The study, in the scientific journal Ibis, has used data from bird conservation charities and ecology centres across Europe.

A third of the 90 forest birds examined have declined since the 1980s. Specialist birds such as woodpeckers have fallen by 18 per cent, and more common species, such as the nightingale by 13 per cent.

A second study by the British Trust for Ornithology showed the worst hit areas in the UK.

It showed tree pipit sightings in southeast England having fallen by 96 per cent, and willow warbler sightings dropping by 86 per cent in east England.
Chris Hewson, of the BTO, said: “These declines are not just a random problem but symptomatic of something far more widespread.” (ANI)

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