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Seabirds in the East Riding are at risk of extinction

Puffins and kittiwakes are struggling at Bempton and Flamborough and they face further threats from offshore windfarm developments in the North Sea.

Chris Collett from the RSPB explains more: “There’s an amazing seabird colony at Bempton and Flamborough, but many of the species that breed there in the summer months are actually in decline. So puffins for example are now a red listed species.

“We have serious concerns about offshore windfarms. Some of these birds can fly 50 or 60 miles out to sea and some of these proposed windfarms are actually directly in the flight path of birds like kittiwakes and gannets and could also cause disturbance to puffins.”

The warning comes from the State of Nature 2016 report – the conclusion from a coalition of more than 50 leading wildlife and research organisations.

It presents a picture from 53 wildlife organisations of the status of our native species across land and sea.

The report reveals over half (56%) of UK species studied have declined since 1970, while more than one in ten (1,199 species) of the nearly 8,000 species assessed in the UK are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

Helen Byron, RSPB area conservation manager for Yorkshire, says: “This report shows that while there have been some wonderful conservation successes in recent years, there’s still a huge job to do if we want to save nature in the UK. In East Riding, we are particularly concerned about many of our seabirds.

“Nationally, puffins and kittiwakes are struggling and in East Riding at Bempton and Flamborough, they face further pressure from potentially harmful offshore wind farm developments in the North Sea where these birds forage for food.

“The RSPB and other nature conservation organisations are working hard to halt the declines of these species but we can’t do it alone and need the Government to take urgent and decisive action to protect our precious wildlife.”

The State of Nature 2016 UK report has been launched today by Sir David Attenborough and UK conservation and research organisations.

Sir David says: “The future of nature is under threat and we must work together; Governments, conservationists, businesses and individuals, to help it.

“Millions of people in the UK care very passionately about nature and the environment and I believe that we can work together to turn around the fortunes of wildlife.”