MAKE A STAND TO PROTECT SONG BIRDS, RACING PIGEONS AND OTHER SMALL BIRDS
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Over the past few years, the introduction of breeding sites in unnatural areas has resulted in an increase of predatory birds in our towns and cities. As a result, this is having an impact on the populations of small birds. We believe that these nest boxes are placed in areas that are unnatural and unsuitable habitats for Peregrine Falcons, Sparrowhawks and other predators. Consequently, we are looking to educate the general public and local councils in order to re-evaluate and review the impact these nesting programmes are having on the wider bird population.
Pigeon Racing UK and Ireland was established by a group of pigeon fanciers who witnessed first hand the destruction and devastation caused by these predatory birds, otherwise known as raptors. Our main aim initially was to lobby on behalf of UK pigeon fanciers for the change in protection of racing birds. However, as momentum grew and our cause became more widely understood, we discovered not only were racing pigeons being affected but other small birds were also in dire need of help.
As a group we are passionate about all species of birds and we are dedicated to preserving not only pigeon racing as a sport but also a suitable ecological balance which supports all forms of wildlife.
Birds of prey such as the Peregrine Falcon, Gosshawk and Sparrowhawk are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and appear to have no natural predator. This leads to the proliferation in their numbers and causes a decrease in the number of small birds at an alarming rate, including racing pigeons, song, garden and migratory birds. We understand the importance of protecting rare and endangered species, however, we are looking to ensure that the population of predatory birds is stable. The most up to date figures on the population of Peregrine Falcons was estimated at 1,400 in 2002 – we believe that this figure could potentially be much higher today.
As a result, we are looking to achieve three main outcomes:
1. Educate the public about the impact of urban nesting programmes and engage with councils to encourage a review of their nest box locations
2. Establish more accurate figures about the number of predatory birds in order to confirm whether they are still endangered
3. Protect pigeon racing which is rapidly becoming a graveyard sport – it is estimated that the past time will be extinct by 2030 if nothing is done to stop attacks from predatory birds
We want to raise awareness of our cause and the problems we are facing.
We want to work collaboratively with councils to reduce the number of nest boxes that are being placed in unsuitable locations in towns and cities – this will help to ensure that the number of predatory birds stabilises, reducing the loss of racing pigeons and other small birds whilst helping to ensure that a natural ecological balance is achieved.
We want to obtain accurate figures on the population of predatory birds so that realistic and manageable goals can be established and maintained to safeguard all species of bird.
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