Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bird Directive Has Helped 23 Threatened Species Recover

Date:
August 11, 2007
Source:
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Summary:
In the first scientific analysis of its kind anywhere in the world, the RSPB has shown that one example of protecting birds at a continental scale has improved the fortunes of the most threatened and vulnerable European species -- signaling that conservation works, if it is enshrined in law. There are 46 species that were listed on Annex 1 before 1993 which nest or winter regularly in the UK, and the research has shown that the populations of at least 23 of these species have increased. Notable examples of species which have increased include avocet, marsh harrier, nightjar, woodlark, Dartford warbler , stone-curlew, osprey, bittern and red kite.

Avocet brooding chicks.
Credit: Chris Gomersall

In the first scientific analysis of its kind anywhere in the world, the RSPB has shown that one example of protecting birds at a continental scale has improved the fortunes of the most threatened and vulnerable European species – signaling that conservation works, if it is enshrined in law.

Related Articles


In a ground-breaking paper published in Science, the RSPB shows that the Birds Directive - a law protecting birds across the European Union - has successfully protected those species considered to be at most risk and in need of most urgent protection and has made a significant difference in protecting many of Europe’s birds from further decline.

When the Birds Directive became law in 1979, the Directive required that a number of species be the subject of special conservation measures, particularly through the designation of Special Protection Areas. Importantly, today’s research shows these ‘special’ species have not only performed more successfully than other bird species in the European Union, but also that these species have fared better in the European Union than populations of the same species in other European countries.

Dr Paul Donald, a conservation biologist with the RSPB, is the paper’s senior author. He said: 'For over 25 years, the Birds Directive has assisted member states to provide proper protection for those birds considered to be facing the greatest threats. Today we can reveal that this protection has apparently worked.'

On the up

There are 46 species that were listed on Annex 1 before 1993 which nest or winter regularly in the UK, and the research has shown that the populations of at least 23 of these species have increased. Notable examples of species which have increased include avocet, marsh harrier, nightjar, woodlark, Dartford warbler , stone-curlew, osprey, bittern and red kite.

Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB’s Conservation Director, said: 'In the UK, the Birds Directive has been pivotal in ensuring the continuing protection of key sites for our most important and threatened birds. Without the Birds Directive, our research shows that many of these birds would be facing a bleaker future through increased persecution, site damage and habitat destruction.

'This far-sighted legislation is now 25 years old, but it remains highly relevant today, continuing to integrate the needs of conservation and development.'

Across the European Union, the RSPB and BirdLife International hopes this research will encourage governments, especially those of the new member states, to full comply with the Birds Directive.

UK must honour its commitments

Dr Mark Avery added: 'Europe has a world-class conservation law and there is no excuse for delays in its full implementation. We expect the UK to honor its commitments under the Birds Directive and press on with designating all sites that meet the criteria, especially in the seas around the UK where governments have been pitifully slow in designating Special Protection Areas.'

The RSPB and BirdLife International are warning that insufficient designation and protection of sites, lack of funding for site management and unsustainable agriculture all could reverse the successes of the Birds Directive, perpetuating dramatic declines in Europe’s wildlife.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. "Bird Directive Has Helped 23 Threatened Species Recover." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070810074554.htm>.
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. (2007, August 11). Bird Directive Has Helped 23 Threatened Species Recover. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070810074554.htm
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. "Bird Directive Has Helped 23 Threatened Species Recover." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070810074554.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins