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  Bug 'splatometer' to save birds
Updated 01 June 2004, 07.35
A bug splatometer
Wildlife experts are launching a UK-wide bug count to see why numbers of some bird species are falling.

In June, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) wants people to use special grids to count how many bugs have hit their car's number plate.

Using these 'splatometers' they'll try to see if there's a link between falling bug and bird numbers in particular areas across the country.

Would-be bug hunters can take part by visiting www.rspb.co.uk.

The Big Bug Count will not try to find out why insect numbers are falling.

Instead, the information will be used to compare with any future studies.

RSPB spokesman Andrew South said insects are an important part of the environment.

"Even birds and animals that don't rely on insects directly rely on animals that do," he said.

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