Nightingale Could Be Gone in 30 Years
Scientists fear that the nightingale could go extinct in Great Britain within the next three decades. Since 1998, breeding grounds have emptied and numbers of the iconic bird have dropped by over a half. The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) says this is a result of an increase in deer grazing British soil with the sub-soil favoured by the secretive birds being destroyed. Paul Stancliffe, a BTO spokesperson, says that woodland nightingales had suffered the worst decline due to changes of woodland management – such as coppicing, which affects the soil that nightingales like most.
But the decline may also be taking place along its lengthy migration route, which sees it spend the winters in sub-Saharan Africa. For this reason scientists intend to track nightingales in their migration to find where they stop over on their route and determine if there are any causes in those locations that are contributing to the bird’s precipitous decline.
The BTO has launched the Nightingale Appeal and an accompanying CD of Nightingale song with the profits funding research into the bird.
The CD is available on www.bto.org/nightingales