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New report reveals good news for rare breeding birds - British Trust for Ornithology

Montagu's Harrier in flight (Graham Catley/BTO)
Montagu's Harrier (Graham Catley/BTO)

New data shows that in 2018 ten species of rare birds bred in their highest ever recorded numbers across the UK

Thanks to extensive conservation work including reintroductions and habitat management, the fate of some of these birds continues to improve

However, some species haven’t fared as well, with some being impacted by cold winter weather and problems on migration

In the latest analysis of the UK’s rarest breeding birds, ten species have been recorded in greater numbers than in any previous year.

The annual report of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel (RBBP), funded by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and published in the journal British Birds, aims to track the progress of the country’s rarest breeding birds by compiling data from conservationists, scientists and thousands of volunteer birdwatchers across the UK. The RBBP would like to thank the many birdwatchers who contribute data, and the county bird recorders who collate this data on behalf of the RBBP.

The results from the 2018 breeding season have found that ten of these species have been counted at record levels. Whilst for two of these species (Shoveler and Common Redpoll) this may be just down to annual fluctuations in numbers and possibly a welcome increase in the effort put into finding these species, the other eight have been doing increasingly well for years - many of them are continuing to break records year on year as they recover from previous declines, or colonise the UK for the first time.

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