Pioneering research work undertaken by the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) has shown that a sharp decline in the numbers of one of the UK’s least understood birds could be linked to climate change.
Now conservation scientists from RSPB Scotland are to monitor the movements of the Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus using radio-tracking equipment, in the hope that the study will provide information to help them improve the status of the species.
The species is in serious trouble in the UK with an estimated population decline of almost 60% between 1990 and 1999.
The climate change research work published in the Journal of Animal Ecology reveals that the drop in the ouzel’s population could be linked to recent increases in UK temperatures in July and August after most chicks have fledged.
RSPB Scotland scientists have uncovered new evidence that could help to halt the dramatic decline of a rare upland bird. Scotland’s population of ring ouzels – popularly known as mountain blackbirds – has dropped by 36% since 1999 and these striking birds are vanishing from many of their former haunts in the rocky hillsides and gullies of the highest parts of the country: here.