RSPB in plea to save elusive bird
Thursday 02 May 1996
The organisation wants to spend the money on the islands of Egilsay, in the Orkneys, and Oronsay, in the Inner Hebrides, two of the last United Kingdom strongholds of the fast-disappearing corncrake.
Once common on farmland, the corncrakes have vanished from most of the UK since early this century because of changing habitat and breeding failure.
The species has ceased to breed in Northern Ireland, leaving the northern and western isles of Scotland as the final footholds.
Traditional farming methods continue on the two Scottish islands and the society believes that with careful management, small populations of these summer-visiting birds could be increased.
Because the birds are secretive, the only means of measuring population size is by counting the number of males giving out the distinctive rasping call of the species during the breeding season.
Seven males were heard calling on Egilsay last year and the RSPB plans to buy Onziebust Farm, covering a quarter of the island, in the hope it can more than double the number.
Oronsay had three calling males last year and the society, which aims to lease the island, believes that by improving the habitat the number could be increased.
There were just 570 calling male corncrakes found in the UK last year and in the 25 years to 1993, the national population declined by more than 50 per cent.
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...