The number of alien or foreign bird species in Britain is apparently on the increase. And, populations like Canada geese, and Mandarin ducks are apparently so happy here that environmentalists fear a cull may soon be necessary. VoR’s Tim Ecott spoke to Dr Richard Bradbury, the author of a news study for the RSPB's Centre for Conservation Science.
North American ruddy ducks have already been killed to reduce their numbers from more than 6,000 to fewer than 150.
And there are for example more than 60,000 Canada geese and the fear is that they will endanger native species like the grey-lag or the pink-footed goose.
Dr Richard Bradbury told VoR: “At the moment we’re not necessarily aware of particular problems. What we’re doing here is potentially to highlight future problems. Rather than thinking about problems, I think it is worth focussing on how important protected areas are for native species and for species which are colonising the UK, naturally perhaps as the result of climate change.
“What our study shows absolutely conclusively is that protected areas are really important for these species which are colonising naturally. But then they are at risk of becoming colonised by these non-native species later.