Conservation

State of UK Birds

A coalition of UK conservation organizations has published a report on the successes and lack therein of the birds in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. In 1994, the UK government identified 26 species of bird most in need of conservation, and started on a detailed plan of action, reports Surfbirds News.

skylarkCalled State of the UK’s Birds 2010, the report shows that by today, the populations of over 12 species which were in steep decline have slowed their decline, and 6 species are increasing their numbers. Unfortunately, the overall number of species in trouble has risen. All this means the UK has not met international or EU biodiversity targets for slowing or halting the loss of birds.

One positive light in this story is the thousands of volunteers who survey the birds in their immediate world and submit the evidence to tell scientists how the birds are faring. Such knowledge helps to direct scientific research to where it’s needed, and spark conservation action to help species.

As well, there are current efforts to eliminate invasive (non-native) rats and mice, and to reduce the fishing industry’s bycatch, both of which damage bird populations.

The picture for endangered birds in the UK is currently bleak, but if landowners, hobbyists, biologists, NGO’s, and government all work together things will hopefully improve for UK birds.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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