LAWN­MOW­ERS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Parting Shot -

He goes on to make fur­ther dis­tinc­tions be­tween the tar­geted ap­proach of rein­tro­duc­tions and the broader ef­fect of rewil­d­ing: “It will favour more gen­er­al­ist species and, par­tic­u­larly in the UK, wood­land species, as tree cover in time will dom­i­nate the land­scape. Rein­tro­duc­tion is fo­cused more on in­di­vid­ual species, and of­ten those that re­quire very spe­cialised habi­tats or man­age­ment. How­ever, both ap­proaches have their place within UK con­ser­va­tion and in some in­stances they can be con­nected.” The RSPB has al­ready had con­sid­er­able suc­cess with rein­tro­duc­tions. Red Kites were first re­leased 25 years ago and now num­ber 1,800-2,000 pairs na­tion­wide. White-tailed Ea­gles were first re-es­tab­lished 40 years ago (now 88-98 pairs). Cur­rent projects in­clude the Corn Crake, Crane and Cirl Bunting. The el­i­gi­bil­ity of species for rein­tro­duc­tion also re­quires care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, as Mike Toms, As­so­ciate Di­rec­tor for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the BTO, ex­plains: “Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ev­i­dence puts the most re­cent oc­cur­rence of a na­tive Ea­gle Owl at be­tween 5,500 and 10,000 years ago – those here now are thought to orig­i­nate from aviary es­capes, lost fal­con­ers’ birds and de­lib­er­ate in­tro­duc­tion. De­pend­ing on where you place the cut-off date for defin­ing some­thing as na­tive, there could be a case for rein­tro­duc­ing Hip­popota­mus and Lion!” Ponies do­ing their bit at the Knepp Es­tate, Sus­sex

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