| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20140311037 |
|Title:||Yorkshire’s last barn owl?|
|Author:||Yorkshire Wildlife Trust |
|ID & Publication:||20140311037 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
Following drastic habitat loss and freak weather the numbers of barn owls are now at an all time low. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust wants to turn the fortune of the barn owl around.
Last year went on record as the worst year ever for barn owls. But Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, a local wildlife charity, wants to help the native barn owl and is asking everyone who loves seeing barn owls here in Yorkshire to support them.
It is widely reported that barn owls have declined by 70% in the UK since the 1930s. Now conservationists believe that the run of bad winters, and the prolonged snow of March 2013, has left the UK’s population of barn owls at the lowest it has ever been.
Dr Rob Stoneman, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: ‘One of the main reasons behind this 70% decline is the widespread loss of grassland habitat and natural nesting sites. Since the end of the Second World War, 97% of the UK’s natural lowland grasslands have either been ploughed up or built upon. Barn owls also have far fewer nesting sites due to tree loss and barn restoration. This loss of habitat, along with the widespread use of agricultural chemicals like rodenticides, left UK barn owls with an estimated 4,000 breeding pairs in the mid 2000’s. Now the number of breeding pairs is thought to be as low as 1,000.
Hope remains for the barn owl. By increasing the availability of good quality grassland which supports a large population of small mammals, the numbers of barn owls will also increase. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust wants to restore large areas of grassland and to put up nest boxes across Yorkshire to help our barn owls recover.
Dr Stoneman said: ‘Whilst we can’t control the weather, we can give barn owls the best possible chance of recovery by providing them with more nesting sites and high quality grasslands over which to hunt. This is why we are asking everyone to support us by giving just £4 per month to help barn owls to recover and ensure that future generations can enjoy seeing this magnificent owl here in Yorkshire.’
If you would like to support Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s campaign to help save the barn owl here in Yorkshire then please visit www.ywt.org.uk/barnowl.
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