Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 16:09 UK

Study shows 20% decline in birds

Turtle Dove
The study shows that Turtle Doves have declined in number by 50%.

Farmland and woodland birds in the South-East have declined in numbers by about 20% over a 12 year period, a government study has said.

The Defra survey showed a fall in Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, and Oxfordshire.

From 1994 to 2006, there was a 21% drop in the number of farmland birds, and a 19% drop in woodland birds.

Numbers of Turtle Doves, Corn Buntings and Grey Partridges declined by 50%.

Paul Outwaithe of the RSPB said they could not explain the decrease in population.

"It may be pressures on habitat or climate change, or a variety of factors, but it looks like a fundamental issue and it needs urgent looking at," he said.

Farm bird numbers 'hit new low'
18 Oct 07 |  Science/Nature

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