Swift action needed - RSPB

Greenshoots with DAVID GREEN

The wildlife charity believes that if the building and roofing industry, developers and local authorities would take swifts to heart like householders have, it could ease a housing crisis for the declining birds.

Numbers of these summer migrants in the UK have declined by almost 30% in recent years, meaning they are now of conservation concern.

A nationwide search launched by the RSPB last year asked for help identifying where swifts are still seen and could be nesting, with thousands of people taking part.

Results revealed the critical role that buildings play in the future of the species, with all swifts recorded found nesting on buildings and over three quarters of them (77%), found nesting in houses.


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A NEW “interactive” website has been put up to help with the identification of areas which might be suitable for designation as Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).

Its introduction has been welcomed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trusts and other “coastal” trusts who want to see conservation measures extended off-shore to protect nationally important marine species and habitats.

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Twelve east coast and inland local wildlife trusts are currently working to achieve the greatest possible benefit for wildlife in the North Sea through a regional MCZ project called Net Gain.

Members of the public who use the sea for leisure or work can contribute information about off-shore wildlife sightings by using a new interactive map, available via www.mczmapping.org

A network of marine reserves forms part of the wildlife trusts’ vision for Living Seas, in which wildlife thrives from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows.

www.northseawildlife.org.uk

NINE research projects worth a total of �10million – announced during National Insect Week - will explore the causes and consequences of threats to bees and other insect pollinators and pose searching questions about their decline in recent years. The aim is to help identify mitigation strategies that will ensure that the pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops is protected and that biodiversity in natural ecosystems is maintained.

What is clear at present is that there is no one factor causing the problem. The causes of pollinator declines are likely to be complex and involve interactions between pollinators, the environment and the pests and diseases that affect these insects.

Insects pollinate around a third of the agricultural crops grown globally and the total loss of insect pollinators could cost up to �440million per year in the UK (about 13% of the UK’s income from farming).

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