Hoogland vogels

The Curlew in steep decline in Wales

The latest Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) report, published today, shows that the Welsh breeding Curlew population has fallen by 68% between 1995 and 2017, not good news for a bird that has long been associated with Welsh upland and farmland. As a result of the precipitous decline in breeding numbers, the Curlew (Numenius arquata) is one of UK’s most pressing conservation issues. Its decline in Wales is mirrored with an overall decline of 48% across the UK. It’s not good news for Welsh Swifts (Apus apus) either; their breeding population is down by 69% over the same period.

Nearly 70 per cent decline in numbers of curlew breeding in North Wales

THE latest Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) report shows that the Welsh breeding curlew population has fallen by 68 per cent between 1995 and 2017. As a result of the precipitous decline in breeding numbers, the curlew (Numenius arquata), long been associated with Welsh upland and farmland, is one of UK’s most pressing conservation issues. Its decline in Wales is mirrored with an overall decline of 48% across the UK. It's not good news for Welsh swifts (Apus apus) either. Their breeding population is down by 69 per cent over the same period.

Moun­tain birds are de­clin­ing in Europe

Population data for European mountain birds have been for the first time combined in a recent study, with worrying results: the abundances of mountain-specialist birds has declined by as much as 10% in the 2000s. The recently released study examined the population trends of 44 bird species in the 2000s in the mountain and fell regions of Fennoscandia, Great Britain, the Alps and the Iberian Peninsula. A decline was seen in 14 of the observed species.

New Zealand's national icon, the kiwi bird, is in steep decline

The kiwi (Apteryx haastii) is in swift decline, disappearing at a rate of 2 per cent per year. Around 200 years ago, millions of kiwi inhabited New Zealand, but in 50 years’ time there may be none left. Old Mout Cider has joined New Zealand-based charity Kiwis for kiwi in the fight to help save this extraordinary species — a nocturnal, colour-blind bird that has survived millions of years against the odds. In fact, its heritage is special: the kiwi shares DNA with the tyrannosaurus rex.

Exposure of hummingbirds and bumble bees to pesticides

New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

Spain's most endangered birds

Recognisable by its black plumage and striking red beak, the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) is found in low numbers all over the planet. European populations migrate to Sub-Saharan Africa in the winter and during the summer an estimated 470 pairs can be found in Spain, a large proportion of which are found in the north of Extremadura. They are threatened.

Half Scotland’s upland birds suffer significant long-term decline

More than half of Scotland’s upland birds, including the curlew and lapwing, have suffered a “significant long-term decline”, according to official statistics published yesterday. Scottish Natural Heritage’s latest Index of Abundance for Scottish Terrestrial Breeding Birds, reveals that ten of the 17 upland species fell in numbers between 1994 and 2016, contributing to an 16 per cent decrease among upland birds over the period.

Snowy Owl classed as Vulnerable for the first time

Striking, widespread and widely recognised, thanks in part to the Harry Potter books, the Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus was previously listed as Least Concern, the lowest threat category of the IUCN Red List. However, this assessment was based on earlier figures that estimated the global population to number around 200,000 individuals, and the absence of evidence of significant declines.

Warning sounds for charismatic kea

New Zealand’s charismatic kea (Nestor notabilis) - and 2017‘s Bird of the Year - has just been reclassified to “endangered” by global conservation group BirdLife International. The alpine parrot was upgraded from “vulnerable” to “endangered” in BirdLife International’s reassessment of the threat status of birds for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

New VCE study reveals population health of mountain songbirds

A 16-year study of mountain forest songbirds across New York and New England, including thrushes, warblers and other iconic species, has documented their population changes. Although species like Black-capped Chickadee and Swainson’s Thrush have thrived in the mountains during recent decades, some species that depend on the region’s evergreen forests of spruce and fir – notably Blackpoll Warbler – appear to have undergone substantial declines.