A study by the RSPB and Birdlife International has shown that bird populations across Europe have fallen by about 600 million in the past 40 years.The study found that the main reason for falling bird numbers is food production and farming. The biggest decline was among birds associated with agricultural land and grassland. House sparrows have fallen by 247 million, yellow wagtails by 97 million and skylarks by 68 million.
Several members of the Doncaster Group have been involved in farmland surveys in recent years and have witnessed the changes to the land which have resulted in the decline of species. There are some local farmers who have worked closely with the RSPB to introduce measures to halt the declines whilst still maintaining a viable business and we thank them for that.
Locally, we are witnessing an increase in house building and the loss of land for wildlife. We hope that developers and the local authorities will take into account these problems and include measures in their plans to provide pockets of habitat for wildlife or alternative sites that are currently underdeveloped for nature. Without the work going on in the various nature reserves in our area then locally, the declines would be even greater.
The photo was taken locally of a tree sparrow that is now facing extinction across Europe.