Monday, 23 April 2007

Conservation Conversations 18

The Avocet's Last Stand?
It has been reported that flood defenses in the Humber estuary will only be developed to protect major human populations in the area and that. in the rest of this location, rising sea levels will be allowed to take sections of land (http://www.coastalfutures.org.uk/humber.html). It was thought that one benefit would be an increase in wild life, especially marine bird species. There does, however, appear to be a down side to current plans. The rising sea levels are threatening to swamp Read's Island where about 100 of the UK's 1000 pairs of breeding avocets are currently based. The avocet is a 'flagship' species (it is the symbol of the RSPB) and had been driven to extinction in this country until some 60 years ago. The new findings suggest that the changes in species in this area resulting from rising sea levels might be quite complex

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