As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 16 May 2014

'Urgent action' needed to protect seabirds, say RSPB Scotland

15 May 2014 Last updated at 03:26

Arctic skua numbers have been in sharp decline over the past two decades

Scotland's seabird populations are in need of "urgent action" to halt significant, long-term declines, according to a report.

A study from RSPB Scotland proposes creating seven sites to be designated as Special Protection Areas (SPA) to protect key feeding areas.

It claims that the Scottish government is in danger of breaking conservation legislation if no action is taken.

The government is set to create a network of marine protected areas.

The SPA sites proposed by the wildlife charity include sandbanks located off the Firth of Forth, an area of the Pentland Firth and the sea north of St Kilda.

The recommended areas were first identified by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and are considered vital feeding areas used by many tens of thousands of seabirds.

The original deadline to create SPAs to try to protect seabird numbers was created in the early 1980s and further strengthened by the Marine (Scotland) Act in 2010.

Although the government is set to designate 33 marine protected areas, the RSPB feel that not enough has been done and that this lack of action means that standards have not been met.

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