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.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Ireland’s rural development plans will reward farmers for conserving rare birds

Farmers undertaking actions to conserve critically threatened farmland birds will get priority access to substantial funding within Ireland’s new Rural Development Programme.

If properly implemented, this move offers hope of halting declines and restoring bird populations across the country.

Ireland’s biodiversity is facing very severe threats, with declining populations of many farmland birds and losses in extent and quality of many semi-natural habitats in the mosaic of Ireland’s farmed landscapes.

There has been extensive research in the UK, in particular, which has related farmland bird declines to changes in agricultural practices since the 1970s.

Specific causes for these changes included a variety of farming practices, including increased use of pesticides and fertilisers, increased mechanisation and losses of hedgerow extent and quality.

These changes in agriculture also took place in Ireland over the same period.

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