With more wild birds recently added to the Red List of endangered wild birds in the UK, we look at what it means for these species and what we can do to help their declining numbers.
The Red List is one of three categories that the RSPB and other conservation organisations use to highlight which birds need our help and attention, with those on the Red List being in most need to prevent declining numbers. Birds that fall in to the Amber list are not safe either though and require work to prevent them becoming red status in the future.
With a total of 246 species assessed against the below criteria it categories 52 birds that are in danger.
Red listed: This Black Grouse is one of the rarest breading birds in the UK.
Below you will find the criteria for each category: (Source RSPB)
Red List Criteria:
Historical population decline in UK during 1800–1995
Severe (at least 50%) decline in UK breeding population over last 25 years, or longer-term period (the entire period used for assessments since the first BoCC review, starting in 1969).
Severe (at least 50%) contraction of UK breeding range over last 25 years, or the longer-term period
Amber List Criteria:
Species with unfavourable conservation status in Europe (SPEC = Species of European Conservation Concern)
Historical population decline during 1800–1995, but recovering; population size has more than doubled over last 25 years
Moderate (25-49%) decline in UK breeding population over last 25 years, or the longer-term period
Moderate (25-49%) contraction of UK breeding range over last 25 years, or the longer-term period
Moderate (25-49%) decline in UK non-breeding population over last 25 years, or the longer-term period
Rare breeder; 1–300 breeding pairs in UK
Rare non-breeders; less than 900 individuals
Localised; at least 50% of UK breeding or non-breeding population in 10 or fewer sites, but not applied to rare breeders or non-breeders
Green List Criteria:
Species that occur regularly in the UK but do not qualify under any or the above criteria
Birds on the Red List:
You have may have only heard of a few of the birds on the Red List but they all need our help to prevent any further declines in their numbers. We can help some of the better known garden birds by creating bug and insect friendly gardens or hanging nesting boxes, others may only be helped by the professionals though who we can help through donations to the RSPB.
- Balearic Shearwater
- Red Necked Phalarope
- Arctic Skua
- Common Scoter
- Herring Gull
- White Tailed Eagle
- Roseate Tern
- Hen Harrier
- Turtle Dove
- Black Grouse
- Grey Partridge
- Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
- Temmincks Stint
- Black Tailed Godwit
What can we do?
Most of the birds on the list will not pop into your garden any time soon but for the ones that do there are a few things that we can do to help them out.
Dunlin like insects, snails and worms but you would be very lucky to find one in your garden as these are most common on all UK estuaries.
Skylarks are part of the Larks family and like to eat seeds and insects. These can be fed in many ways from hangers to bird tables.
The Turtle Doves like to eat all types of seeds and are part of the pigeon family.
You can leave nesting boxes out or just create a safe friendly area in your garden for all types of birds. Every little counts as they say!