More than one quarter of UK birds are in need of urgent conservation effort with Curlew, Puffin and Nightingale joining the growing list of threatened species – but there is good news for some according to the 2016 State of Birds report out today,
The report, co authored by the RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), highlights the downward trends for upland species, with five added to the Red List, those in most danger, giving cause for concern.
Europe’s largest and most distinctive wader, the curlew, has been added to the Red List and is joined by dotterel, whinchat, grey wagtail and merlin.
This highlights the fact many of the UK’s upland species are in increasing trouble with the total number of upland birds red-listed now
The report contains good news for some species. Recent surveys are highlighted for golden eagles, cirl buntings, and winter thrushes.
Golden eagle numbers have increased by 15% since the previous survey in 2003. There is good news for cirl buntings too, which are now estimated to have over 1,000 breeding pairs.
The winter thrushes survey shows how important the UK is for continental migrating birds.
Dr Geoff Hilton, WWT Head of Conservation Science, said:
“The call of the curlew is one of the really magical elements of British nature, celebrated in poetry and song. Now we know that we are losing them; fewer and fewer people are getting to experience their song.
“But the curlew has one big thing in its favour: it is loved by many, many people. I’ve seen the enthusiasm and determination to turn their fortunes around – from farmers, conservationists and the public – and this convinces me that we can do so. “