Male Montserrrat Oriole eating flowers/drinking nectar (Steffen Oppel)

Good News for Montserrat’s Birds

The Department of Environment (DOE) says it is again pleased with the preliminary results of the 2017 annual bird survey.

A statement from the DOE said “data collected shows a favourable increase in the species from 2011 with impressive numbers recorded in the 2015, 2016 and the recently concluded 2017 forest bird survey.

“This year’s data confirms the upward trend for the Montserrat Oriole population to the point that it is now no longer considered as ‘critically endangered’.  The same positive results are reflected for other forest bird species, such as the Forest Thrush, Bridled Quail Dove, Scaly-naped Pigeon and Purple-throated Carib – these species populations all seem to have increased since 2014.

“The lack of recent volcanic ash fall and improved rainfall over the past year may have contributed to healthy forest bird populations.”

The Department of Environment said it remains committed to undertaking the annual bird survey especially now that other factors such as the impact of climate change could influence bird behaviour and health.

“Pressures of development are also a concern as it has been observed that areas of forest have been cut down along the fringes of the Centre Hills protected area. The DOE is also exploring ways to maintain monitoring and control of invasive species which also influences the state of bird populations on island.”

Annual bird surveys are conducted by the Department of Environment. The data is then sent for analysis to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). A full report will be available in a few months time.