Study Group




About Ring Ouzels


In the UK, ring ouzels, as with most British birds, receive ordinary protection under the national legislation (the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981). However, the species is listed on the national Red Lists of species of conservation concern in both the UK and Ireland, and it is also a priority species for action under the UK’s new Biodiversity Action Plan. Other European states have their own levels of protection but these are difficult to ascertain.

Within the 27 members of the EU, which holds almost 60% of the total population, ring ouzels are covered in Article 4 of the Birds Directive:
“Member States shall take similar measures [the classification of Special Protection Areas, SPAs] for regularly occurring migratory species not listed in Annex 1, bearing in mind their need for protection in the geographical sea and land area where this Directive applies, as regards their breeding, moulting and wintering areas and staging posts along their migration routes”.

In reality, this actually confers rather little in the way of protection, as most EU Member States have designated SPAs solely for 'threatened’ species listed on Annex 1 of the Birds Directive, and for migratory waterbirds.
Furthermore, ring ouzels are listed as Non-SPECE in the classification of Species of European Conservation Concern (SPECs). This means that the species is currently (2004) considered to be in Favourable Conservation Status in Europe, but it is concentrated here, so that any deterioration in its European status could rapidly lead to it becoming of global conservation concern. However, given the poor quality data from which it was derived and the recent continuing declines in at least some parts of Europe, it may be that future assessments lead to threat category being revised.


Copyright RSPB 2011