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Stamp of Approval for Bird Conservation

Good news stories from the Royal Mail

A celebration of bird conservation success is the theme of a new set of ten stamps due to be issued by the Royal Mail later today.

The ten stamps include four species (white-tailed eagle, avocet, marsh harrier and bittern) which were at once extinct in the UK, but now have rapidly-increasing populations. The remaining six species (Dartford warbler, peregrine, corncrake, cirl bunting, bearded tit and red kite) are also doing well thanks to conservation effort.

Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB’s conservation director, said: “In 1840, when the Penny Black became the world’s first postage stamp, the avocet was at the point of extinction in Britain, and the bittern, white-tailed eagle, marsh harrier and red kite were declining rapidly. However, the corncrake in 1840 was still a widespread bird which would have been audible from many countryside post boxes in summer. Thankfully, the fortunes of all these birds have improved dramatically thanks to intense effort by the RSPB and others. It’s now possible now to see all of these birds easily in the UK, but we mustn’t take any of them for granted – the threats which caused their declines in the first place could still pose further risks in future.

4th July 2014