BTO Out For the Larks In 1997
News from the BTO
1st April 1997
BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) members will be out for both larks in 1997. There are two breeding species of lark in Britain and each is the subject of a full survey during the summer of 1997. They are rather different because the Skylark is still a very widespread and common bird but the Woodlark is a rare and scarce species doing rather better in recent years.
The Skylark survey is being organised by Stephen Browne (BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU) and is based on 1,000 randomly selected survey plots scattered all over the country. These will be visited during the spring and all the singing Skylarks will be plotted and the habitat will be mapped. Volunteers are needed for this and if you want to help please contact your local Regional Representative - or Stephen direct at HQ.
The Woodlark survey is rather different. With our partners at the RSPB and English Nature we aim to make this survey complete. This species is beginning to expand from the core areas where the total population of less than 200 pairs nested about 30 years ago. In the last survey, in 1986, 241 territories were found and it is expected that quite a lot more will be discovered this year.
Fieldwork will shortly get underway and the organiser, Simon Wotton, wants to hear from you if you can help. He is at the Research Department, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2Dl (phone 01767 680551).
These surveys are the fact-finding projects on which proper conservation is based. In Britain we are very lucky to have a very active and generous army of volunteers, trained in census techniques, willing and able to do this important work. Without their help we would know much less about our birds and what we need to do to conserve them.