Editorials

The recent BB paper on IUCN threat assessments was an interesting and thought-provoking read, although I struggled to see how the results would be especially useful for bird conservation, despite assertions to the contrary. We seem to be awash with ever more refined and complex assessments of the status and conservation priority of birds (and other species)…

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Following changes made to the roles of the directors and trustees in the management of British Birds, the trustees have decided to enhance the role of the BB Trust and its charitable activities. The Trust now welcomes donations to help fund its grants, or to fund specific projects…

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The massive declines in most farmland bird species that have occurred since the 1970s have not been conspicuously reversed in recent years, despite the wide uptake of agri-environment measures by farmers. This is the conclusion one would draw from the Breeding Bird Survey and other national monitoring schemes run by the BTO. But what about the situation at a more local scale?

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Our scientific programmes bring together team members, students, volunteers and visiting researchers to provide the foundations needed for informed protection and management. Each year around 25,000 people take part in our environmental education programmes: workshops, wildlife clubs, summer camps, school visits, etc. Like everyone else, we work hard to enrol new supporters and struggle to raise sufficient funds…

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One Sunday last July I strolled down to the hide at RSPB Otmoor, one of my local birding patches in Oxfordshire. Five years ago I might have entered an empty hide. Not anymore. The place was packed with bird photographers, happily chatting as they waited patiently for the shot…

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Seventy-three years a birdwatcher, I am back at base camp: a landlocked farmland patch…

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June 23rd will always be a memorable date for me. No, not June 23rd 2016 and the EU Referendum. Far more significant (to me) was June 23rd 1987 and ‘my’ male Lesser Kestrel on Fair Isle. The 30th anniversary of that momentous day is later this month and I’ll be marking it with a fond smile and a raised glass because, as yet another June 23rd comes around, I have yet to find a better bird in Britain…

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Many of us will share Mark Holling’s frustration with frequent changes to the order in which bird families and species are placed in lists (Holling 2016). I agree that the changes come about because taxonomists want to use the ‘best’ list, so that the sequence is changed in the light of new opinions about the avian evolutionary tree. But the problem lies deeper than this…

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Many of the world’s most important locations for bird species diversity and abundance are included within a network of over 12,000 key conservation areas, defined by Birdlife International as being Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas…

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I believe that the future of the driven grouse shooting industry rests in its own hands. It either reforms, to improve the environmental conditions of the uplands, or public distrust and anger will grow, leading inevitably to government intervention to regulate its activities. Let me explain…

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