News archive

July 2013

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Wildflowers at RSPB Conwy nature reserve

NATURE IN CRISIS

For the first time ever, the UK's wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its overseas territories. This is what David Attenborough has to say.

The islands that make up the UK are home to a wonderful range of wildlife that is dear to us all, but even the most casual of observers may have noticed that all is not well. They may have noticed the loss of butterflies from a favourite walk, the disappearance of sparrows from their garden, or the absence of colourful wildflower meadows of their youth. To gain a true picture of the balance of nature, we require a broad and objective assessment of the best available evidence, and that is what we have in this groundbreaking State of Nature report.

This important document provides a stark warning; far more species are declining than increasing in the UK, including many of our most treasured species. Alarmingly, a large number of them are threatened with extinction. The causes are varied, but most are ultimately due to the way we are using our land and seas and their natural resources, often with little regard for he wildlife with which we share them. The impact on plants and animals has been profound.

Although this report highlights what we have lost, and what we are still losing, it also give examples of how we - as individuals, organisations, governments - can work together to stop this loss and bring back nature where it has been lost. These examples should give us hope and inspiration.

We should take encouragement from the report itself; it is heartening to see so many organisations coming together to provide a single voice, stating loud and clear, what is happening to our wildlife. This partnership, backed by a combined membership of millions and enabled by the heroic efforts of thousands of volunteer recorders, provides a powerful force to bring the UK's nature back to its former glory.

For more information go to: www.rspb.org.uk/stateofnature

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Adult female blackbird on garden lawn

REQUESTS FOR HELP

We regularly receive requests for help via this website, usually during spring and early summer. Mostly they relate to baby birds which have either fallen from their nests, or are fledglings that have become grounded following their inaugural flight. Or they are injured or sick. Concerned members of the public expect, understandably, that the RSPB will come to the rescue and take on the care of these birds - after all, we are the society for the protection of birds. So why does the RSPB not come out to attend to injured or abandoned birds?

The RSPB's position on this is that their objectives are the conservation of populations of wild birds and their habitats rather than the welfare of individual birds. Other organisations such as RSPCA, PDSA, Blue Cross and local animal rescue services are especially established to attend to the welfare of sick and injured birds and animals and have the necessary expertise and facilities to cater for them.

With regard to apparently abandoned birds, usually they are not abandoned and the parents continue to feed them out of the nest. The best policy is to leave them, unless they are in danger of being predated by a cat in which case they should be moved to a safer location near where they were found. It is very difficult and time consuming to hand rear baby birds as they need constant feeding, and most do not survive the experience. The mortality rate among young birds is very high but mostly occurs out of sight and we only really become aware of it when it happens in our own gardens, when it can be distressing to witness.