More than a quarter of UK bird species are now of ‘highest conservation concern’ according to a review by leading bird organisations.
The Birds of Conservation Concern 4 report on the status of all the UK’s 244 bird species shows that 67 species have now been placed on the Red List, including curlew, puffin and nightingale.
In 2009, the last assessment revealed that 52 species (21 per cent) were on the Red List.
Most of the species were placed on the recent Red List due to their severe declines or because they are under threat of global extinction.
However, the 2015 assessment does contain some good news.
Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, says, “When (we) have diagnosed the problem, identified solutions, and when conservation action is targeted and adequately funded, we can bring species back from the brink.”
Three species (bittern, nightjar and dunlin) have been removed from the Red List and added to the Amber List and 22 species have moved from the Amber List to the Green List (lowest conservation concern).
Efforts to improve preferred habits, land management and long-term reintroduction programmes have all made a difference.
Species new to the Birds of Conservation Concern 4 Red List
White-fronted goose (g), pochard, long-tailed duck (g), velvet scoter, shag, red-necked grebe, slavonian grebe, ringed plover, dotterel, curlew, woodcock, puffin, kittiwake, merlin, mistle thrush, nightingale, pied flycatcher, black redstart, whinchat, grey wagtail
(g) = Species that have gone from the Green List straight to the Red List. All others have moved from the Amber List.
Species new to the Birds of Conservation Concern 4 Amber List
Mute swan, bittern (r), curlew sandpiper, sanderling, dunlin (r), greenshank, tawny owl, dipper, mealy redpoll, nightjar (r)
(r) = Species that have moved from the Red List to the Amber List. All other species have moved from the Green List.
Species new to the Birds of Conservation Concern 4 Green List
Tufted duck, red-throated diver, sooty shearwater, little egret, little grebe, red kite, golden eagle, European golden plover, jack snipe, black tern, little gull, barn owl, green woodpecker, red-billed chough, firecreast, bearded tit, woodlark, sand martin, barn swallow, common whitethroat, northern wheatear.