9th November 2017 by Gareth Jones
Corncrakes are becoming increasingly vulnerable following a fall in their numbers for the third year running, RSPB Scotland has warned.
In 2017 only 866 calling males were recorded during RSPB Scotland’s annual survey. This is a drop of 17% from 2016, and down 33% from the 2014 high of 1,289 males.
There were glimmers of hope in some areas such as Barra and Vatersay with a 47% increase from last year but these numbers were outweighed by losses elsewhere; Benbecula’s population was down 64%, and Durness has seen a 53% drop.
The overall sharp decline has prompted concern from RSPB Scotland that the long term survival of the birds as a breeding species is now under threat.