This Article is From May 08, 2023

Britain Loses 73 Million Birds, Biggest Loss In Sparrow Population: Study

British Trust for Ornithology analysed data since 1970 to report that a number of species has disappeared across the UK.

Britain Loses 73 Million Birds, Biggest Loss In Sparrow Population: Study

BTO has cited a number of reasons for the staggering decline. (Representational Pic)

Britain has lost more than 73 million birds in 53 years, according to a new analysis by researchers at British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) published on Sunday. The research is based on data from BTO and partnership schemes, along with other published sources. It was released on Sunday (May 7), to coincide with International Dawn Chorus Day when nature lovers wake up at dawn to listen to the sweet music of different birds. In a tweet, BTO said this staggering decline "is almost impossible to comprehend".

"The UK is home to 73 million fewer birds this #DawnChorusDay than it was in 1970. This staggering decline of almost a third is almost impossible to comprehend, so we have created a website that allows you to see what's changed in your area," BTO said on Twitter.

It includes the disappearance of nearly 30 million house sparrows, 20 million starlings, four million skylarks, two million blackbirds and one million chaffinches.

"BTO's wealth of data means we can confidently report this alarming drop in the UK's breeding bird population. Presenting these results at the local level, so that anyone can see the changes that have happened on their doorstep simply by entering their postcode, delivers a powerful message that the UK's birds are in trouble, and that we all need to do more," BTO's chief executive officer (CEO) Professor Juliet Vickery was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

Ms Vickery said Cambridgeshire is among the areas that have witnessed some of the highest declines of species in Britain and Ireland.

The reasons why farmland birds saw the highest decline are changes in agriculture, increase in chemicals and a shift from spring to autumn-sowed cereals. Apart from this, wild waterbirds and seabirds are also struggling from bird flu, which has killed more than 20,000 birds since October 2021.

The BTO has created a website so that anyone in the UK can enter their postcode and discover which species would once have been on their doorstep but are now a distant memory.