2020: an amazing year for wildlife on RSPB reserves - RSPB

Despite Covid-19 restrictions affecting access and conservation work in the first half of the year, 2020 proved to be an amazing year for wildlife on RSPB reserves with many threatened species having a record breeding season and many other species doing well.

The new Wildlife on RSPB nature reserves 2020 report brings together all the information about the wildlife on the RSPB’s nature reserves and it reports on the ups and downs of the bird breeding season, together with other wildlife highlights. The RSPB currently manages 224 nature reserves across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The area of these reserves covers 160,358 hectares, an area 4 times the size of the Isle of Wight.

white egret standing under the belly of a large brown (Hereford) cow
Highlight species, Cattle egret: these birds bred for the first time at RSPB Pagham Harbour with five pairs fledging five young. Adult cattle egrets were also seen flying to and from the heronry at RSPB in Northward Hill where they bred for the first time in 2019. (image: Ben Andrew / RSPB images)

The reserves, perhaps best known for the birds found there, are also crucially important for many other kinds of plants and animal. In 2020, the number of species recorded on RSPB reserves exceeded 18,500 species with more than 3000 of these being of conservation concern.

The RSPB’s Director of Conservation, Martin Harper said “Last year was exceptionally difficult for everyone. Like every part of society, nature conservation was affected by the coronavirus and the restrictions that dealing with it required. Vital conservation work had to be paused and much of the monitoring work that we would normally carry out was not possible, however, many of the species that call our reserves home managed to have a successful year.”

Posted on: 23 April 2021

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