Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Plans to re-introduce rare bird

Cirl bunting
Cirl bunting numbers have dropped over the last 50 years

A bird once common to Jersey could be reintroduced.

The Cirl bunting was described in 1952 records as being "well-distributed", but by 2003 there were none recorded in the island.

Now the States is hoping to help re-establish the bunting in Jersey by providing a suitable habitat for it.

Research by the RSPB found that the birds need grassland to hunt for worms and insects in summer and fields of cereal stubble to find seeds in winter.

An RSPB survey from 2003 found 697 pairs of Cirl bunting in Devon but none at former sites in Jersey and Cornwall.

A spokesman said 2009 was an "important year" for Cirl buntings, which are native to the South West UK and Channel Islands, with a new survey of their numbers planned during the spring breeding season.

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