Chapter

Now and hereafter

D. W. Yalden and U. Albarella

in The History of British Birds

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199217519
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191712296 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217519.003.0009
 Now and hereafter

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The changed attitude to birds, including regarding legal protection, is reflected in the high number of membership of the RSPB and National Trust, and in the research activities of the BTO and its members. Many of the rarer raptors recovered their numbers during the 20th century, and some (red kite, goshawk, white-tailed eagle) have been actively reintroduced. Other species have returned naturally (e.g., crane, osprey, avocet). There are still real problems of conflict between raptors, their prey and human interests (e.g., hen harriers and red grouse; peregrines and racing pigeons). But the present bird fauna contains more species, including more raptors, than ever before. Birds as a group are more diverse than mammals, but contribute far less biomass. Passerines dominate numerically, and are the most widespread, but non-passerines dominate biomass. The domestic fowl is still much the most abundant species, as it has been since Roman times (and offers most biomass), but the biomass of pheasants is also well above that of any native.

Keywords: red kite; white-tailed eagle; goshawk; biomass; pheasant; domestic fowl; RSPB; BTO

Chapter.  14902 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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