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These plans are from the original UKBAP Tranches 1 and 2 (1995-1999)
For up-to-date information please visit The Biodiversity Action Reporting System (BARS)

Plans | Species | Birds | Turdus philomelos

Species Action Plan

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

©Chris Gomersall

Current status

This is a common and widespread species which is declining throughout the UK. It is a partial migrant with large numbers of Continental breeders overwintering in the UK and with many of the birds which breed in the UK wintering further south in Europe. Following the winter of 1962/63, the population declined but recovered to a stable level within three to four years. The numbers subsequently remained stable until the mid 1970s after which they declined steadily, with an estimated reduction of 73% in farmland and 49% in woodland habitats. These birds are generally more abundant in the east than the west of the country, although the decline in numbers shows a north to south bias. The status of the song thrush in Northern Ireland is uncertain.
The song thrush is protected under the EC Birds Directive; the WCA 1981, and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

Current factors causing loss or decline

Reasons for the decline are poorly understood but may relate to the following factors:
Changes in farming affecting food supply and the availability of nest sites, particularly the switch from spring to autumn sowing of cereals, and possibly the increased use of pesticides.
Severe winter weather and dry soil conditions affecting food supply.
Predation by corvids and foxes.
Competition with blackbirds.
Hunting in southern France.

Current action

Little action was taken for the species until British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) census work highlighted its decline. Current work now includes survey, research on the species` ecology, and investigation of the causes of the decline.
A species action plan has been prepared by the RSPB, in collaboration with JNCC and the country agencies.

Action plan objectives and targets

Halt the decline in numbers of song thrush in the UK by the year 2000.
Maintain the UK geographical range of the song thrush at the 1995 level as measured by the frequency of occupation of BBS squares.
Maintain the UK population size of the song thrush at or above the 1995 level as measured by the BBS index.
By 2010, increase the geographical range at least to the 1968/72 range.
By 2010, increase the population size at least to the 1970 level as measured by the CBC/BBS index.

Proposed actions with lead agencies

Policy and legislation

Ensure that the results of ongoing research on the causes of decline are taken into account in agriculture schemes, woodland schemes and policy. (ACTION: DANI, FA, FE, MAFF, SOAEFD, WOAD)
Promote the uptake of sensitive farming options under existing incentive schemes to benefit song thrush. (ACTION: DANI, MAFF, SOAEFD, WOAD)
Consider persuading the European Commission to ban or discourage hunting in France. (ACTION: DOE, FO)

Site safeguard and management

No action proposed.

Species management and protection

No action proposed.

Advisory

Ensure landowners and managers are aware of the presence, legal status and conservation requirements of this species, and appropriate methods of habitat management. (ACTION: CCW, DoE(NI), NE, FA, SNH)

Future Research and Monitoring

Investigate the relationship between agricultural changes and the use of agrochemicals with the decline of this species, using information collected by the BTO and other sources. (ACTION: CCW, DoE(NI), NE, SNH, JNCC)
Promote research on the effects of woodland design and the management of woodland margins, especially on farmland, in aiding the successful breeding of song thrush. (ACTION: FA)
Encourage adequate monitoring annually of national breeding song thrush populations through the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey. (ACTION: CCW, DoE(NI), NE, JNCC, SNH)
Encourage research on the ecological requirements of this species to help identify the causes of the population decline. (ACTION: CCW, DoE(NI), NE, JNCC, SNH)

Communications and Publicity

Produce publicity material and information for the general public to raise awareness of the song thrush and the possible links between population changes and human activities. (ACTION: CCW, DoE(NI), NE, SNH, JNCC)

Links with other action plans

None given.

Local implementation

The following LBAPs are working on Turdus philomelos:


Waltham Forest Biodiversity Action Plan Bexley Biodiversity Action Plan Hull Local Biodiversity Action Plan North Tyneside North Tyneside Your Wildlife.  The Newcastle Biodiversity Action Plan Torfaen LBAP Bromley Local BAP Wokingham District Wokingham District Dacorum Borough Nature Conservation Strategy Dacorum Borough Nature Conservation Strategy Gosforth Park - Cramlington Wildlife Corridor BAP Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership Caerphilly County Borough LBAP Rotherham Local Biodiversity Action Plan Telford and Wrekin Falkirk Area Biodiversity Action Plan Falkirk Area Biodiversity Action Plan Vale of Glamorgan Local Biodiversity Action Plan Kirklees Biodiversity Action Plan Action for Nature: The Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Rhondda Cynon Taff Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Neath-Port Talbot 2001-2006 Wrexham Biodiversity Action Plan South Gloucestershire Local Biodiversity Action Plan North Merseyside BAP Birmingham and Black Country Teignbridge BAP East Lothian Biodiversity Working for the Wealth of Wildlife - Anglesey's Local Biodiversity Action Plan Denbighshire Biodiversity Action Plan Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan Bedfordshire and Luton Fife A 50 Year Vision for the Wildlife and Natural Habitats of Hertfordshire A 50 Year Vision for the Wildlife and Natural Habitats of Hertfordshire Nature in the Dales - a local Biodiversity Action Plan for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Nature in the Dales - a local Biodiversity Action Plan for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Bioamrywiaeth yn Eryri Bioamrywiaeth yn Eryri Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan Stirling Council Area Biodiversity Action Plan Countdown - the Cheshire region Biodiversity Action Plan Biodiversity Action Plan for Gloucestershire Action for Wildlife - The Durham Biodiversity Plan Shropshire Biodiversity Action Plan Lancashire's Biodiversity Action Plan Cambridgeshire Biodiversity Action Plan Ayrshire Ayrshire Ayrshire Cornwall’s Biodiversity vol 1, 2 and 3 Essex Biodiversity Partnership Suffolk Local Biodiversity Action Plan Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan Lincolnshire Biodiversity Action Plan Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Argyll and Bute Cumbria Biodiversity Action Plan North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership

Publication details

Originally published in: Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report - Volume II: Action Plans (December 1995, Tranche 1, Vol 2, p107)

Related links

ARKive Visit the ARKive website to view images and further information relating to this species
© Joint Nature Conservation Committee 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010