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Breeding Bird Survey marks 30 years of citizen science
Red kites have proven to be a conservation success.
The latest report reveals severe declines in swifts and curlews.

The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) has published its latest report on the UK’s bird populations, as it marks 30 years of the citizen science project.

The survey, which was launched in 1994, is believed to be one of the UK’s longest-running citizen science initiatives, and produces population trends for 119 species.

The BBS is run as a partnership between the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Since it launched, citizen scientists have supplied nearly 8 million records on bird populations.

Over 3,000 volunteers take part each summer, including at least 100 contributors who have been providing reports through the survey’s full 30-year history.

Approximately 7,000 individual sites have been assessed during this time. The survey has grown from 1,500 sites surveyed in its first year, to around 4,000 each year for the past seven years.

The BBS’ latest report reveals the major changes in bird populations across the UK between 1995 and 2022.

Turtle doves saw the most significant decline during this time frame, with a 97 per cent loss. This was followed by the willow tit, at 90 per cent, and the wood warbler, at 81 per cent.

However it was better news for the little egret, which saw a significant increase of 2,232 per cent between 1995 and 2022.

Little egrets, which BTO describes as a ‘relatively recent colonist’, form part of an interesting trend for non-native bird species. A fifth of the species which saw population increases were non-native birds, including the ring-necked parakeet (2,154 per cent) and the Egyptian goose (1,835 per cent).

BTO also consider the red kite to be a major conservation success story, with the bird of prey seeing a 2,232 per cent increase since BBS records began.

The collation of citizen scientist data will enable scientists to investigate drivers of change for each species, as well as setting bird conservation priorities in the UK.

James Heywood, BBS national organiser, said: “The sheer volume of information that allows us to see the high and lows of our breeding birds is all volunteer gathered.

“Without the dedication of the UK’s BBS surveyors, we would not be able to see the changing fortunes of our bird populations, and with it look to identify causes and potential solutions.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.