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Rising sea could end bittern boom (BBC News)

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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 16:50   #1
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Post Rising sea could end bittern boom (BBC News)

The bittern, one of Britain's rarest birds, faces a new threat to its population from rising sea levels.

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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 19:26   #2
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Bit of a shocker from the BBC. I think as licence payers we should be expecting articles like this to be reasonably accurate "The bird, known for its booming call, is commonly found in the freshwater reed beds of Suffolk and Lancashire"
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 19:42   #3
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Thats not as wrong as RSPB potteric carr. Has it changed owners recently?
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 20:00   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikw101 View Post
Bit of a shocker from the BBC. I think as licence payers we should be expecting articles like this to be reasonably accurate "The bird, known for its booming call, is commonly found in the freshwater reed beds of Suffolk and Lancashire"
To be fair, the immedate sentence before does state the UK population to have grown "from a low of 11 males in 1997 to at least 51 recorded by the RSPB and Natural England last year." So, in full context, not that inaccurate.
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 20:50   #5
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Surely rising sea levels (or falling land due to isostatic rebound) will just move the shoreline inward along with any reedbeds as land is inundated. There will always be low-lying areas whatever the sea-level, the reeds will simply colonise new areas as they become unsuitable for agriculture.

It's not as if any inundation is going to occur rapidly, despite the panicky wording in the report.

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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 20:52   #6
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In a longtime scale yes but as it may happen quicker than reedbeds can retreat id imagine that without the massive planting of inland reedbeds, Bittern would be lost as a breeding bird. That said, the massive planting of inland reedbeds is occuring. The major factor in Bittern success is fish penetration into the edges of reedbed, especially Rudd. Bitterns would have been far more successful at Minsmere if Roach hadn't been introduced and compete with the Rudd present, as Roach don't penetrate Reedbeds as well. The killing of these fish by saltwater inundation would lead to no food and thus no Bitterns.
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 21:06   #7
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To be fair, the immedate sentence before does state the UK population to have grown "from a low of 11 males in 1997 to at least 51 recorded by the RSPB and Natural England last year." So, in full context, not that inaccurate.
As far as booming males are concerned in North-West England (Lancs, Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside and Gtr Manchester) there was a 100% increase in 2007. So we now have 2 booming males in an area of just under 5,500 square miles. For the BBC to refer to Bitterns as being common birds in the reedbeds of Lancashire is simply wrong.
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 21:11   #8
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Ah but you do have more than 2 females - and as they are the sole parent they do ok
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 21:16   #9
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Originally Posted by ikw101 View Post
As far as booming males are concerned in North-West England (Lancs, Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside and Gtr Manchester) there was a 100% increase in 2007. So we now have 2 booming males in an area of just under 5,500 square miles. For the BBC to refer to Bitterns as being common birds in the reedbeds of Lancashire is simply wrong.
The article as a whole is reasonably accurate is what I had intended to suggest. They quoted total UK populations and gave areas they occurred (Suffolk and Lancashire ...Norfolk would have better been quoted I agree), but having stated there were only 51 in the whole of the UK, I think readers would understand the abundance issues despite the slight slip.

PS even the article didn't say it was reasonably common across the 5500 square miles of North West England! How many square miles of frshwater reedbed does Lancashire have?
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Old Tuesday 4th March 2008, 22:05   #10
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The spin doctors at it again. This is an issue, but hardly a major "global warming" one. Why do we have to now tag every single conservation issue with GW?? Reed-Beds by their very nature exist in a transitional zone, and the E coast of Britain is indeed that, irrelevant of GW.

Eagerly tagging everything with the GW threat is a foolish approach to conservation, as it digresses away from the may other threats which exist also.

Ptarmigan were recently another target, yet actually GW predictions could actually INCREASE their habitat in the mountain ranges in Scotland. (As it is Wind-Chill NOT average Temperatures that influence their habitat, a windier climate, as predicted, will increase their altitude range. That's why they are found at lower levels on the West....where it's windier!)

Basically, the truth is that GW while bad for us, is going to actually BENEFIT many land birds in the Northern Hemisphere for a long time to come. Sure, we will lose habitat, and birds on a regional scale, but birds will move as new habitat opens up, and there is plenty of space for them to go to for a long time ahead. It might be doom and gloom for us, but in my opinion, for many birds at least, the future is actually quite bright in a warmed world!!! The headline "Global Warming, It's Benefit for Species X" though perfectly plausible, rarely seems to appear, funny, I thought science was supposed to present an unbiased approach to the natural world?

J

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Old Wednesday 5th March 2008, 16:12   #11
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I'd heard (ie. a half garbled report) that the flooding of Cley marsh after the heavy rains last month pushed bittern away ... not sure if that's true, or if they have bred there. Does anyone know? Presumably the reed beds will recover anyway as the flood waters have gone down ( perhaps there's a food shortage as a result of the flood?)
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Old Wednesday 5th March 2008, 19:24   #12
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Basically, the truth is that GW while bad for us, is going to actually BENEFIT many land birds in the Northern Hemisphere for a long time to come.
Agreed, including for Bitterns.
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Old Saturday 8th March 2008, 08:57   #13
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The bittern, one of Britain's rarest birds, faces a new threat to its population from rising sea levels.

More from BBC News...
Whilst this is sad , there is a school of thought that says if they cant hack it then they shouldnt be there
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