Archive for RSPB
www.independent.co.uk 13th October 2011
BP has come under heavy criticism from four of the UK’s leading conservation charities due to their plans to drill a new deep-water oil well off the coast of Scotland. In the BP’s own worst case scenario, the well could leak 75,000 barrels of oil for 140 days from the platform situated offshore from the island of North Uist. Such a leak would make it the worst oil spill in history and more than twice the size of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have all written to energy secretary Chris Huhne to try to get him to stop the drilling, citing a “significant risk to wildlife”. They also complained that not one of the charities were made aware of BP’s “public consultation exercise”, which ended last week without a single response from the public. None of the charities knew about the exercise until the Independent broke the story yesterday (pictured).
www.independent.co.uk 2nd May 2011
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have reported record sightings of Red Kites, which were one of Britain’s rarest species 20 years ago. Once a very common bird of prey, the species were gradually whittled down to a small population in the Welsh Cambrian Mountains. But a series of reintroductions since the 1990s have seen sightings rocket 130% since 2010 causing the Red Kite to move up to number 53 in the rankings of mostly commonly seen birds in gardens. 7% of the world’s Red Kite population is now believed to reside in the UK. The sighting statistics were gathered from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, which had 600,000 participants. Although the Red Kite population in the UK seems to be recovering, the species is still experiencing problems in mainland Europe, where illegal poisoning of the birds is rife.
Sources: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment 10th September 2010
Five years ago the most comprehensive book on English birds declared the Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius Collurio) “unlikely to breed here on a regular basis again”. Yet yesterday the bird that was declared extinct 18 years ago was back again after an intensive effort by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and several other conservationist organisations. The site of their reintroduction to the UK is a closely guarded secret and has 24 hour protection. Red-Backed Shrike, also called butcher birds, have held a prevalent place in British folklore due to their macabre method of storing food. After killing their prey (beetles, lizards, caterpillars, small mammals, and small birds) the butcher bird would proceed to store them in ‘larders’ by impaling them on the thorns of a bramble bush or a barbed wire fence. However, the population experienced a marked decline throughout the 20th century with the last known pair mating in 1992. Although nobody knows why the Red-Backed Shrike declined so rapidly it is generally accepted that ‘eggers’ (or egg collectors) played a major part.
Four men (3 with previous criminal convictions for egg stealing) have already been turned away from the protected RSPB site.