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Kestrels suffer in 2006

It has been a fantastic year for much of the UK’s flora and fauna, but kestrels have not fared well. According to research carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the bird has had a disastrous breeding season and as a result has been placed on the threatened species list.

Paul Stancliffe, promotions officer at the BTO, said: “The main reason is the lack of small rodents this year. Kestrels have been going through a long period of decline and we think this is the main reason. There are other contributing factors as well as a lack of food, such as the intensification of agriculture. We did a count in the early-nineties and estimated there were 50,000 pairs. In 2000, we estimated there were 36,800 pairs. This year, figures taken from the nest record breeding scheme have prompted the birds to be placed on the BTO list for concern as a species that may require future conservation action.”