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Matt Prior is MDNEP Wildlife Champion 2016

At the recent Marlborough Downs NEP Spring Celebration, Matt Prior, Conservation Officer for WOS was named as MDNEP Wildlife Champion 2016. MDNEP is a farmer led project which aims to enhance this superb area of Wiltshire farmland for wildlife, community and access. Matt was one of several speakers during the evening and gave a talk about the ringing and monitoring of farmland birds. It is pertinent that this is the first time this prestigious award has been given to a person who is not a farmer and demonstrates how highly Matt’s efforts in monitoring and conserving farmland birds are rated and appreciated. Well done, Matt, you deserve this wonderful award.

Matr Prior champion

Many members of the WOS will already be subscribers to British Birds or may have taken up trial offers. Whether or not, you may like to receive their free e-newsletter every month. This offers a flavour of what has been published recently and what is in the pipeline in areas such as book of the month, news and comment, the rarities section and special offers.

This is a new initiative from one of Britain’s leading birding publications. It covers the UK and Western Palearctic and has been the birdwatchers’ journal of record since 1907. It is read and recommended by many amateur and professional ornithologists, writers and photographers with Simon King stating that ‘British Birds is the gold standard of ornithological literature in the UK’.  

    To receive the newsletters, just log on to www.britishbirds.co.uk and complete the sign up form at the bottom of the page. Give it a try.

Birds of Conservation Concern 4, compiled by a coalition of conservation and monitoring organisations, has just been published. Species which occur regularly in the UK are assessed for inclusion on one of three lists, Red, Amber, Green with birds on the Red List being of highest conservation concern. 

There are now 67 species on the Red List, 96 on the Amber List and 81 on the Green List.

Since 2009 when BoCC 3 was issued 20 species have been added to the Red List including upland breeders, curlew, dotterel, grey wagtail, merlin & whinchat; woodland birds, nightingale, pied flycatcher and woodcock; seabirds, kittiwake, puffin and shag. There is some good news in that bittern, nightjar and dunlin have moved from red to amber. Two of these species have received help in terms of habitat restoration proving that properly funded and targeted conservation can work.

The status of farmland birds continues to be of major concern. Twelve farmland species remain on the Red List with turtle dove continuing to decline hugely.

If you would like to read more visit http://www.bto.org/science/monitoring/psob

A rare and spectacular winter visitor to Wiltshire, Smew is a duck whose habitat is changing because of global warming and it is doing twice as well in conservation areas protected by the EU, research has shown.

Scientific studies have shown that the occurence of wintering Smew have been spreading northwards across Europe as temperatures rise. A study of wetland data shows that nearly a third of the birds now spend winter in north-east Europe, compared with just 6% two decades ago.

In that region, Smew populations have grown twice as fast within Special Protection Areas established under the EU Birds Directive.

For more details follow the link:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/26/rare-european-duck-protected-areas-smew-drakes


Information about WOS

Wiltshire Ornithological Society was formed on November 30th, 1974, and has grown in recent years to more than 500 members.

Our mission is to encourage and pursue the study, recording and conservation of birds in Wiltshire

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