A major report has found that one in three species of bird is in significant decline in Wales. The State of Birds in Wales study found farmland and woodland species were especially vulnerable, with the researchers identifying loss of habitat and climate change while urging urgent conservation action.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who headed up the report, said the data provided "a real health check for scientists, conservationists and decision makers". The findings were achieved with the help of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the Welsh Ornithological Society (WOS), and RSPB Cymru. Patrick Lindley, Senior Ornithologist at NRW, said: "When we look at conservation urgency, we've probably never seen the like of this before in terms of what we need to do. It’s startling."
Notable declines in the report included the extinction of breeding populations of , and . declined by a massive 72 per cent between 1995 and 2016. Many threatened species that rely on farmland and moor habitat have also seen numbers crash: declined by 68 per cent, by 45 per cent, 46 per cent and 39 per cent.
Neil Lambert, Head of Conservation Management for RSPB Cymru said: "With 90 per cent of Wales farmed, agricultural practices have a huge impact on birds and other wildlife. Leaving the European Union provides a unique opportunity to develop new land management policies for Wales that will help farmers restore nature."