The State of the UK's Birds (SUKB) 2017

5 December 2017


SUKB is the place to go for all the latest results from bird surveys and monitoring studies – this year highlights how many of the UK’s species are already being affected by climate change, responding to UK average summer temperatures having increased by nearly 1 degree Centigrade since the 1980s.


The report highlights how species’ distributions are moving northwards, shifting their distributions as temperatures rise and their habitats change as a consequence. Many of our rarer breeding birds are at a high risk of extinction in the UK, based on projections of how climate will become less suitable for these species. These birds are mainly found in the north of the UK and in many cases, such as for the dotterel, whimbrel, common scoter, and Slavonian grebe, population declines have already been considerable.


Part of the work done by JNCC includes advising on the UK Overseas Territories, which support a rich biodiversity, including many endemic birds.  One of these listed in the SUKBBermuda petrel cahow report is the Bermuda petrel or cahow, a burrow-nesting seabird endemic to Bermuda and which is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species. An innovative mix of habitat management and active population management measures have led to encouraging increases in the population. There were 117 breeding pairs in the 2016-2017 breeding season, with 61 chicks successfully fledged in spring 2017.



Dr James Williams, Biodiversity Indicators Manager at JNCC, said: “The increase in numbers of cahows on Bermuda is an encouraging sign of successful local conservation action – especially in the face of erosion and flooding as a result of recent hurricanes”.


SUKB 2017 is produced by a coalition of three NGOs: RSPB, BTO and WWT, together with the UK’s statutory nature conservation bodies including JNCC. 


Full Media Release

The State of the UK Birds 2017 Report