Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Barn Owl situation in Great Britain


Recent claims of a link between low Barn Owl numbers and climate change:
Climate change has led to a catastrophic crash in the population of Britain's barn owls, it was claimed today.


See also: Extreme weather hits barn owl numbers:
Extreme weather conditions are to blame for a catastrophic fall in the number of barn owls, an expert said today.

As few as 1,000 breeding pairs of the distinctive bird may have survived in Britain, a dramatic fall from an estimated 4,000 pairs last year.



These claims have also been disputed: Barn owl fears exaggerated, says expert
Claims that extreme weather conditions had dramatically reduced the number of breeding pairs in Britain to as few as 1000, from 4000 the year before, were dismissed by Nigel Middleton as exaggerated.

The Hawk and Owl Trust's conservation officer for the eastern region said the barn-owl population in Norfolk had fallen slightly but this was due to other factors than just the weather and would go back up.

He said: "We are at the bottom of a four-yearly cycle in the vole population, which always means the numbers of barn owls falls as there's less for them to eat.

"It will rise again next year."



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