The UK bird population has declined by an alarming 44 million since 1966, according to a new study by conservation organisations.
Scientists producing the report estimate there are 166 million nesting birds in the UK, compared with 210 million in 1966, which means we’ve lost one in five of the individual birds that we had in the sixties.
The State of the UK’s Birds 2012 also reveals that:
- We’ve lost breeding birds from our countryside at an average rate of a nesting pair every minute.
- House sparrow are among the worst hit – we have 20 million fewer than in 1966.
- Birds reliant on farmed land, such as lapwings, cuckoos and turtle doves, have significantly decreased.
Experts believe this is largely down to changes in landscape providing less habitat in which birds can feed and nest. Cold weather is thought to have had a startling effect on bird numbers too.
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