Farmland Birds Decline Continent-wide
According to the RSPB, numbers of common farmland birds are falling right across the European continent. Birds such as the linnet, the goldcrest, the grey partridge, the meadow pipit and the nutcracker are at their lowest European levels since records began. This rapid decline has been attributed by many to farming and urbanisation, which encroach on bird habitats and lead to lower numbers. Farmland birds are now the most endangered wildlife group in Europe. The figures come from the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, which looked at population figures for 145 of the most common bird species in 25 European countries between 1980-2009.
Jenna Hegarty, policy officer at the RSPB, said: "We know farmland birds have halved in number in the UK since the 1970s, but these shocking figures show the story's the same across Europe.” The RSPB is now calling for sweeping reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU so that farmers will be rewarded by helping to conserve wildlife populations.