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German Government takes action to save declining songbird numbers by ordering cats indoors

Cat owners in the German town of Walldorf have been ordered this week to keep their pets indoors until the end of August to protect a rare bird during its breeding season.

The decree is designed to help save the crested lark, which makes its nest on the ground and is therefore easy prey for feline hunters.

The bird’s population in Western Europe has declined sharply in recent decades. Although it is listed as a species of least concern in Europe by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"Among other things, the survival of the species depends on every single chick," authorities in Walldorf said.

The rule applies to all cats in the southern part of the town and will be repeated for the next three years from April to August.

If only such an approach could be considered in the UK to protect some of our most endangered species. In the UK alone, pet cats kill up to 55 million birds, according to data compiled by ProtectaPet.

It is little surprise that the UK is facing such a decline in many of its most treasured species when conservation charities remain unwilling to advocate the tough policies needed to save them.

For example, foxes probably remain the single greatest threat to the ongoing survival of many species, yet RSPB vice president, Chris Packham, is campaigning daily for them on his social media - Fox of the Day - knowing full well the havoc and destruction they cause.

By contrast, in a recent German conservation workshop to protect wading birds in the Wadden Sea, the scientists concluded 'Predator control also potentially shows an immediate effect' [in the recovery of species].

If only our charities and policy makers could exercise a similar honesty and advocate the measures needed, before it is too late.


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