The great migration crisis
By Michael McCarthy, Environment EditorMonday, 21 April 2008
Many of the birds that migrate to Britain and Europe from Africa every spring, from the willow warbler to the cuckoo, are undergoing alarming declines, new research shows.
The falls in numbers are so sharp and widespread that ornithologists are waking up to a major new environmental problem – the possibility that the whole system of bird migration between Africa and Europe is running into trouble.
It is estimated that, each spring, 16 million birds of nearly 50 species pour into Britain to breed from their African winter quarters, and as many as five billion into Europe as a whole, before returning south in the autumn.