19 Nov 2012:
Breeding Birds in UK
Have Declined 20 Percent Since 1960s
The population of breeding birds in the UK has plummeted by 21 percent since 1966
, losing more than 44 million birds in less than a half-century, according to the newly released State of the UK’s Birds 2012
report. According to experts, the number of house sparrows has dropped from 30 million in 1966, when State of the UK’s Birds 2012
report. According to experts, the number of house sparrows has
State of the UK's Birds 2012
The yellow wagtail
the first reliable bird-monitoring surveys were conducted, to about 10 million today — a loss of about 50 sparrows every hour. Once-abundant populations of the willow tit have all but disappeared in most regions of the UK, while numbers of the lesser spotted woodpecker and Arctic skua are now too few to number. Populations of farmland bird species are now half of what they were in 1970, according to the report, which draws on information from numerous bird surveys and databases. Land use changes and coastal water management have likely been key factors in these declines, as some species have had increasing difficulty finding suitable places to nest or forage, experts say. For some bird species, including bitterns, corncracks and nightjars, however, conservation efforts have helped spur population increases. And populations of the chaffinch, scientists say, have increased by about 150 individuals per day over more than four decades.
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