Bird News for UK February 2014

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RSPB calls for volunteers to help out at Leeds Castle Date With Nature

RSPB calls for volunteers to help out at Leeds Castle Date With Nature

The RSPB is appealing for volunteers from across Kent to help with a wildlife project at Leeds Castle this spring and summer.
From 5 April to 21 April and from 6 August to 31 August, the RSPB will be based in the Castle grounds near Maidstone for its annual Date with Nature event.
The project will encourage visitors to find out more about the wide range of birds and other wildlife living in the Castle’s beautiful grounds and on the large lake. These include black, whooper and mute swans, geese, ducks, herons, buzzards, coots, sparrowhawks, and kingfishers.(above) Pic Dorset Birder

As part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign, Leeds Castle also runs a water vole conservation programme and the Wildlife Warden runs nature walks so visitors can observe and get information about other wildlife in the castle grounds, such as foxes, butterflies, sparrowhawks and buzzards.
Kate Whitton, RSPB south east project officer, said: “Leeds Castle is a wonderful location to view wildlife and a great setting to chat to people about nature.
“We need people at this project who are enthusiastic and friendly and enjoy meeting others. If you don’t mind getting stuck into a range of activities then we need you!
“We work as a friendly and close knit team, so come and join us and inspire others about the natural world.”
The conservation charity is looking for people of all ages and backgrounds to help with the project, and you don’t need to have expert knowledge as training will be given.
Volunteers are required to help give out information to visitors and assist people viewing the wildlife from the castle grounds with optical equipment, including binoculars and spotting-scopes.

The RSPB will also be running some hands-on activities for families, such as a children’s quiz and mini-beast identification, which will also require supervision by volunteers.
Kate added: “This is a great opportunity to spend time outdoors in beautiful grounds, meeting people and inspiring them to learn more about birds and other wildlife. You will also be making a genuine contribution to the RSPB’s conservation work.”
The charity was founded by volunteers in 1889. Today, more than 17,000 people help out the charity by giving their time for free.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Kate Whitton on 07889 615727 or by email at Kate Whitton

The science of saving nature

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 26/02/2014 - 14:30

BirdLife’s UK Partner, the RSPB, is launching a new initiative, the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science – which includes an online science hub - dedicated to discovering solutions to 21st century conservation problems, reinforcing the BirdLife Partnership as a world leader in conservation.

The RSPB has a team of more than 60 scientists in the UK and overseas involved in field research, species monitoring, testing conservation solutions and then publishing their findings in peer reviewed journals – pushing back the boundaries of our knowledge on wildlife.

This year sees a busy programme of projects including plans to attach cameras and GPS trackers to Lesser Black-backed Gulls to look at their interaction with wind farms, and utilising thermal-imaging drones to count birds. Other research aims to get to the bottom of declines in European Turtle-doves, Northern Lapwings and Nepal’s Red-headed Vultures.

Dr David Gibbons, Head of the new Centre, said: “These projects are fantastic examples of researchers using the latest technology to investigate why species are declining and how we can save them”.

“The threats to our wildlife are serious – last year’s State of Nature report, which our scientists played a key role in compiling, revealed that 60% of UK species are in decline. Now more than ever we must pull out all the stops to investigate the issues and develop robust methods to restore their numbers. That is why we are embarking on one of our busiest periods of research yet, with scientists spread across the UK, and further afield.”

“Our research can help solve problems for people as well as wildlife. We are building on around 50 years of history from the first field researchers employed at the RSPB so I am very proud to be launching this new venture which will take our scientific work into a new era.”

BirdLife’s Head of Science, Dr Stuart Butchart said “This great new initiative by the RSPB is a perfect example of how the BirdLife Partnership is developing innovative conservation action through scientific insight. It provides a new platform to strengthen the close collaboration between RSPB, the BirdLife Secretariat, and other Partners on international scientific research. Ongoing projects cover topics as diverse as climate change impacts, invasive alien species eradications, fisheries bycatch, ecosystem service evaluation, and protected area effectiveness."

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2014 |  Bird News for UK February 2014

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