40 Birds in Need
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has publicized a list of the 100 UK birds that most need conservation help, of which 40 need immediate action (over the next 5 to 8 years).
10 species, including kestrel, cuckoo and swift, need more research to understand why they’re declining. 12 species, including the once common house sparrow, and the well known turtle dove, need possible solutions to be tested. 18 species, including the bittern, red kite, skylark and cirl bunting, are recovering but need continued conservation or the gains will be lost.
These UK birds face declining populations caused by changes in farming practice, a lack of woodland management, wetlands drainage, habitat destruction, climate change, development, and a reduction in insects (their food source). Worldwide, these reasons are responsible for the decline of many species of both animals and plants, and the RSPB’s new strategy of releasing a Most Needy list is step one in sensible conservation.
Now that the need has been identified, government, organizations and individuals need to work together. Some birds need managed nature reserves, while others need their habitat to become protected, or for farmers to be more wildlife friendly. Some need new laws or enforcement to stop illegal persecution, reports The Independent.
More specifically, 31 of the 40 birds have important populations in Scotland, reports the BBC. This places an emphasis on Scottish farmers, government officials, and citizens to help the birds.
Step one for many people is to learn more. The RSPB’s website is a good place to start.