RSPB Claims on Kestrel Decline Challenged
Claims that intensive farming is to blame for a sudden drop in kestrel numbers have been questioned by the rural champions, the CLA.
Reacting to an RSPB comment published in a national newspaper today (19 July) CLA South West Director, John Mortimer, said: The RSPB has - once again - gone for the knee-jerk reaction of blaming farmers for the decline rather than look at the real reasons."
The RSPB comments were published in a national newspaper after the latest Breeding Birds Survey was published by the British Trust of Ornithology. The survey, which uses information collected by volunteers and enthusiasts, recorded a 36 percent drop in kestrel numbers. The RSPB suggested it was down to “intensive farming” as well as “pesticides and cold winters”.
“The BTO report states that the kestrel population has only declined recently and that it was stable between the start of the survey in 1994 until around 2005. Clearly, farming has not become more intensive in the past five years - in fact, with the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme, the opposite is actually the case. We currently have some 70 per cent of farmland in England covered by agri-environment schemes - so it seems to be nonsense for the RSPB to blame intensification for the problem, “ said Mr. Mortimer.
And other, larger, raptors have increased in numbers. How many kestrels have been sliced in the RSPB favoured wind turbines.....