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MOORS PROJECT IS COUNTING ON THE BIRDS THIS YEAR

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 5 May 2004

5 May 2004

MOORS PROJECT IS COUNTING ON THE BIRDS THIS YEAR

Important wildlife research that will contribute to the vital work of the Moors for the Future partnership - one of the country's largest conservation projects - is now underway.

The 2004 Moorland Breeding Bird Survey began earlier in April and is set to run until 30 June 2004.

The survey was last carried out by bird experts fourteen years ago (Brown & Shepherd 1990). Now the Moors for the Future team are repeating the survey of the Peak District moorlands.

Dr Aletta Bonn, Moors for the Future Research Manager, explained: "This unique survey will record the abundance and distribution of breeding moorland birds on over 500 square kilometres of moorland. Bird populations are excellent indicators of habitat quality. This valuable information will help advise on the best ways to protect moorland habitats into the future."

English Nature, the Government agency that champions wildlife conservation and a partner in Moors for the Future, is fully supporting the work. Jon Stewart from the local English Nature team highlighted its value: "The bird populations of the Peak District Moors are of international conservation importance and a very positive part of peoples' moorland experience. This study will tell us a lot about how they have been faring over the last 15 years and what we need to do to look after them."

The survey covers an area of 500 square kilometres and a surveyor will be visiting each 1km square twice during the survey period, once between early April and mid-May and once between mid-May and the end of June. All the staff are experienced moorland surveyors and understand the concerns of moorland owners.

To find out how the survey is progressing visit the website www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk for regular updates. A summary report of the final survey results will be available to the public.

For more information about the 2004 Moorland Breeding Bird Survey contact the Research Manager, Dr Aletta Bonn, by email on ab.moors@peakdistrict-npa.gov.uk

This is an archived press release

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