2008-01-26 13:24:20 UTC
licence duck shooting and other shooting on it's reserves come on top
of the fact it's pushing through the SNH slaughter of hedgehogs
despite concerns the species was in grave danger. We now find our
common ducks are endangered, whilst the RSPB see's fit to licence the
shooting of wildfowl!
That's CONservation hooliganism for you and whist these pro hunt
groups continue to take all the money from conservation we will see
Duck's decline prompts concerns
The number of mallard ducks wintering in the UK has reached an
all-time low, conservationists have warned.
The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) said recorded numbers of the
bird have dropped by a third since the mid 1980s, when the decline was
Some 4,457 mallards were counted on the Ouse Washes, Norfolk, in
winter 2001-2, but the total count was 2,454 in the 2005-6 survey.
Mallard ducks can be found anywhere in the UK where there is water.
The Ouse Washes, on the border of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, is the
only place in Britain where there are still nationally significant
A count of water birds across the UK on 2 February - World Wetland Day
- could reveal further falls, the BTO fears.
The day's count will see 3,000 volunteers in the UK recording the
fortunes of up to 173 species of wetland birds as part of the Wetland
Bird Survey (WeBS).
The BTO believes the decline in numbers could be due to poor breeding
success or warmer winters allowing birds to remain on smaller patches
of water instead of congregating at larger sites.
The trust's Paul Stancliffe said: "The reasons are unclear, but we
think it's probably down to productivity. They seem to be raising
fewer young each year.
"Also with milder winters it may be that these birds are not gathering
in such large numbers and are dispersing into smaller ponds where they
are harder to count - and which could also be affecting productivity."
Mr Stancliffe said "numbers are dropping year-on-year", adding that it
is "something we've got to keep an eye on as it's an indication there
could be problems".
The WeBS is a partnership between the BTO, the Wildfowl and Wetlands
Trust, the RSPB and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/01/25 19:07:27 GMT