Kestrel decline not farmers' fault - CLA



The CLA expressed disappointment that the RSPB has partly blamed a sharp decline in kestrel numbers in recent years on "intensive farming".

The RSPB made the comment to a national newspaper after the latest Breeding Birds Survey was published by the British Trust of Ornithology (BTO).

It recorded a 36 percent drop in kestrel numbers during that 12-month period, suggesting it was down to "intensive farming" as well as "pesticides and cold winters".

CLA President William Worsley said: "The BTO report states that the kestrel population has only declined recently. It was stable between the start of the survey in 1994 until around 2005.

"It is clearly not the case that farming has become more intensive in the past five years. In fact, with the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme, the opposite is the case, and 70 percent of farmland in England is covered by agri-environment schemes.

"So it is nonsense for the RSPB to blame intensification for the problem. It is a pity they have once again gone for the knee-jerk reaction rather than look at the real reasons."

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