Sing­ing out a dire warn­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Business Update -

The nightin­gale has be­gun an­other breed­ing sea­son in Kent – but for how long?

Af­ter spend­ing the win­ter in Africa, one of our most beloved song­birds has re­turned to spend the sum­mer here.

But the species is in dire straits. It may be an in­con­spic­u­ous, lit­tle brown bird but the nightin­gale boasts a voice so pow­er­ful and of such beauty that few oth­ers can match it.

An an­nual high­light among many na­ture lovers is to visit a nightin­gale breed­ing site in late spring/early sum­mer and marvel at the in­cred­i­ble song that, on quiet nights, can travel for miles. In late 2015, the species was listed as crit­i­cally en­dan­gered on the UK Red List.

The high­est den­si­ties are found in the South East, with Kent as their strong­hold.

How­ever, this for­merly wide­spread species has been in steep de­cline for decades and ev­ery year sees the num­ber of birds re­turn­ing to breed drop even fur­ther.

In the last 40 years, the UK has lost more than 90% of the breed­ing pop­u­la­tion of nightin­gales.

Martin Jensen of the RSPB said: “This fan­tas­tic species needs all the sup­port and pro­tec­tion it can get.”

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