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    Conservationists Fear for Migratory Birds

    NewsRare Birds NewsFriday 19 August 2011
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    Conservationists have grown concerned over reports that that eight out of the 10 most rapidly declining UK bird species are summer visitors from Africa. They are so worried that the proceeds of the British Birdwatching Fair will be devoted to migration research for the next three years, with more than £750,000 likely to be raised. Ranging from the turtle dove and the nightingale to the cuckoo, the eight migrant species have fallen in numbers by between half and three-quarters merely in the last 15 years. These are all birds that arrive to our shores in the spring and return to Africa in the autumn, each time crossing the Sahara desert on a journey of more than 3000 miles.

    "The decline of these birds is so devastatingly fast that it's rapidly being dubbed one of the greatest crises in modern conservation," said Graham Madge of the RSPB, which runs the BirdFair in partnership alongside the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. "These losses are unsustainable, and if left unchecked will put these species in danger of being wiped out across large parts of the UK."

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