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Plants, butterflies and birds in decline

The State of Nature report found that recent environmental changes are having a 'dramatic impact' on the nature of the UK's land and seas. It also found evidence that species with specific habitat requirements are faring worse than those that can better adapt to a changing environment.

Other findings include:

  • Over one in seven plants in Wales are considered threatened
  • 63% of Welsh butterflies are declining
  • More than a third of all woodland species assessed are in decline.
  • The number of breeding upland wading birds, such as curlew, lapwing and golden plover, have declined by more than 75% in recent decades

But the report also found that some species are on the increase, including hen harriers, black grouse and bats.

'Crisis point' for Wales' wildlife

The loss of flower-rich habitat such as meadows and pastures have led to a decline in the bee population Credit: RSPB/Will George

Wildlife in Wales is at crisis point, according to a report published today. The State of Nature report, which has been compiled by organisations including the RSPB and wildlife trusts, found that over one in 10 of all the species assess are under threat of extinction.

The report found 63% of Welsh butterflies are declining Credit: Butterfly Conservation/Martin Warren

The report states that the decline of species is due to loss of habitat, changing in farming, development, climate change and the impact of non-native species.


Garden birds declining at 'alarming rate'

We know from the many people who take part in Big Garden Birdwatch every year that garden birds are incredibly precious to us. But, several of our familiar and best-loved species are continuing to decline at alarming rates.

We go to great lengths to ensure that special habitats in Wales are given the right levels of designation and legal protection because of their role in supporting threatened wildlife, but what's very clear is that every one of our gardens, the spaces literally on our doorsteps, are really important too and help connect us all to nature on a daily basis.

– Bethan Lloyd, RSPB Cymru

Birdwatch survey provides bleak picture

The number of starlings has fallen again by 15 per cent in gardens this year. Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The results of the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey are out and they don't make for positive reading.

In previous years the number of garden birds have declined and this year is no different. The birds we are visited by less and less include starlings, house sparrows and bullfinches.

The number of bullfinches have declined by just over a fifth since last year. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Both starlings and house sparrows are both 'red-listed' species meaning it is of the highest conservation concern in Wales and across the UK. Bullfinches and dunnocks are both amber-listed.

Almost 30,000 people across Wales, including over 4,500 pupils and teachers at schools, took part in the Birdwatch in January counting almost 500,000 birds between them.

For more details on the numbers of birds surveyed, along with advice on making a home for wildlife in your garden visit the RSPB website here.

Thousands participate in Big Garden Birdwatch

The Big Garden Birdwatch helps experts analyse the increase and decline in bird species Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Thousands of people across Wales have been taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch over the last couple of days.

The RSPB says the cold weather has made birds head to parks and gardens in their search for food.

Amateur watchers noted the highest number of each species seen in their gardens or local park. Their findings will help experts gather vital information about the species that populate our gardens and parks.


Birdwatch reveals 'alarming decline' in some species

There has been a dramatic decline in the number of starlings (pictured) seen in our gardens Credit: Johnny Green/PA

The Big Garden Birdwatch has helped highlight an 'alarming decline' in some species, according to the RSPB.

An average of 15 starlings were seen per garden during the first Birdwatch in 1979. By 2012 that had fallen to an average of three starlings per garden - the lowest level ever recorded.

House sparrow numbers have also fallen by two-thirds over the lifetime of the Birdwatch.

It's not all bad news, however - some bird species have fared considerably better over the anual event's 34 years.

Sightings of popular species like blue tits, great tits and coal tits in gardens have increased since 1979.

And goldfinches, which were absent from the Big Garden Birdwatch top 15 in the early years, have featured regularly as a top 15 species since 2004.

Dana Thomas, from RSPB Cymru, said: "The decline of birds like starlings and sparrows over the last 30 years or so has been alarming.

"But Big Garden Birdwatch has helped us find out more about their numbers and distribution across UK gardens, and that has been the first step in helping to put things right."

Big Garden Birdwatch helps RSPB 'gather vital data'

The RSPB says this weekend's Big Garden Birdwatch, which is taking place across Wales, will help gather vital information about the species that populate our gardens and parks.

It's a great way to get to know the creatures that live around us, and that's especially important for children. Feeding garden birds can often be a child's first encounter with wildlife and can spark a lifelong interest in nature.

– Dana Thomas from RSPB Cymru

Thousands expected to join Big Garden Birdwatch

The freezing temperatures have meant many birds struggling to source food (file photo) Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

With more sub-zero temperatures on the way, many wild birds are likely to be driven into our parks and gardens in search of food.

This weekend thousands across Wales are expected to join in with the Big Garden Birdwatch - noting the highest number of each species seen in their gardens or local park, then submitting the results to the RSPB.

Last year almost 30,000 people across Wales took part in the watch, counting half a million birds between them.

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