New British and Irish bird atlas

This video from Britain is called Unpacking Bird Atlas 2007-11.

From Wildlife Extra:

The new Bird Atlas shows vast changes for Britain’s birds

November 2013: The results of the BTO project to map all of our birds in both winter and the breeding season, and from every part of Britain and Ireland, have now been published as the Bird Atlas 2007-11.

Over 40,000 volunteers spent four years scouring the countryside in search of birds, submitting their records to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), to integrate local information on bird numbers into coherent national pictures of the state of Britain and Ireland’s bird populations.

Andy Clements, BTO Director said, “Bird Atlas 2007-11 is the amazing product from the efforts of tens of thousands of wonderful volunteer birders who care passionately that their observations help birds. Their information, collected over four years, presents a richly detailed view of change brought to life in this beautiful book. It inspires future research to fuel bird conservation for a decade.”

Over the last 40 years the British breeding areas for 74 (38 percent) of our bird species have expanded beyond their previously known range, whilst for 72 (37 percent) of them the range has shrunk, and for 47 (24 percent) it has remained relatively unchanged. But what is rather surprising is that for nearly all of them there has been a shift in where they live.

For example 40 years ago the little egret was very much a bird of the Mediterranean but in 1996 this small white heron bred here for the first time. Since then it has increased its range in Britain by a whopping 16,350 percent.

The green woodpecker has become more common in eastern England and has spread northwards into parts of eastern Scotland. Meanwhile, it has begun to disappear from western Wales, an area that is also losing its lapwings, kestrels and starlings. The yellowhammer is also disappearing from our countryside. Forty years ago the species could be heard singing in almost every village of Britain and Ireland but are now missing from large swathes of Ireland, western Scotland, southern Wales and northern England, representing a 32 percent loss for this formerly widespread breeding bird.

Simon Gillings, BTO Senior Research Ecologist says, “Conservation scientists have been desperate for a new atlas. Its comprehensive coverage of all areas and all species gives us the depth of information we need to learn from our recent conservation successes, and plan for the challenges of tomorrow.”

8 thoughts on “New British and Irish bird atlas

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