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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Intensive farming is harming bird species acrosss Europe
A report produced by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) + Birdlife International has found that, over the past 25 years, intensive farming practices have reduced the number of bird species found in Europe by one third.

The RSPB says that:

"These declines have been severest in countries in north-west Europe. In the UK, for example, between 1970 and 1999, the skylark declined by 52%, the yellowhammer by 53% and the corn bunting by 88%."

"Governments of the newest members (of the European Union) must learn the lessons from countries like the UK, where declines of farmland wildlife have seen once common species, like the tree sparrow + lapwing, disappear from many areas.

"They should use EU financial support to maintain farming systems which respect environmental limits and leave room for wildlife."

"The decline of the corncrake has been one of the most obvious effects of the industrialisation of farming across Europe."

"Subsidies paid to farmers to maximize output have driven it out of much of the EU. This has been so marked you can pick out the outline of the Common Agricultural Policy imprinted on the distribution map of the bird."

If you would like to find out more, follow this link to read about BirdLife International's "Farming for Life" campaign, which is aims to make Europe's agriculture sustainable, protect natural resources and to save our disappearing farmland birds.