View Full Version : "Killing The Crows and Magpies To Save The Dawn Chorus !"

01-27-2011, 02:14 PM

01-27-2011, 02:18 PM
Crows and magpies in Britain are to be trapped and killed in the first large-scale trial of culling to protect songbirds and save the disappearing dawn chorus. Campaigners seeking to reverse the decline in songbirds hope to use the results to argue for much wider culling of predators, including protected species such as sparrowhawks and buzzards.

The 100,000 trial cull, due to start in March, has exposed a deep rift between two rival bird conservation groups, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Songbird Survival.

(Snip) Populations of the main predators of songbirds have doubled in the past

Songbird Survival questions whether farming practices are the main cause of the decline, pointing out that it has continued despite the billions of pounds paid to farmers in the past decade to protect bird habitats.

Between 2003 and 2008, there was a fall in farmland bird numbers of 7 per cent, according to figures published last week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Populations of the main predators of songbirds have doubled in the past 30 years. Sparrowhawks, which kill an estimated 50 million songbirds a year, have increased by 152 per cent to 40,100 breeding pairs. Magpies, which raid nests, steal eggs and kill chicks, have increased by 98 per cent.