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Siberian tit. Photo: Wikipedia

A new study from Birdlife Sweden states that many of Sweden’s woodland bird species are seriously threatened by forestry. The report emphazises that the inventory of Sweden’s woodland key habitats must be resumed and extended, forest landscapes protected and that the forest industry should start using sustainable logging methods.

The study "Sveriges fåglar 2019" (Birds of Sweden 2019) focuses on woodland birds. Svensk Fågeltaxering (Swedish Bird Monitoring) has co-operated with Birdlife Sweden and surveyed the occurrence and frequency of forest birds. Areas in the near mountain forest region in Sweden were compared with areas below the mountain forest region. The results show that many woodland bird species are decreasing rather than increasing in number. Many species need varied forests with high conservation values for their survival.

According to the report the Siberian Tit, the Siberian Jay, the Eurasian Three-Toed Woodpecker and the Pine Grosbeak are four species which stand out from the rest. These four species mainly occur in the near mountain forest region today since this is where there still exists some natural values. Previously these birds lived in the boreal forest region but now most of the boreal forest in Sweden has been clear-cut and turned into plantations, making survival difficult for many species. As quoted from the study:

” The limited occurrence of these species below the mountain range area, especially of the Siberian Tit and the Pine Grosbeak, implies that these birds are remnants from a time when the forest landscape generally offered good habitats and living conditions. If that is the case, the Siberian Tit and the Pine Grosbeak will most probably die out from extensive parts of Northern Sweden if large areas of natural forest are not restored”.

Inventories of woodland key habitats most be resumed in Northwestern Sweden and larger forest landscapes protected, according to the report. Between 2000-2018 55,000 hectares of woodland key habitats were logged in the western parts of northern Sweden. Similar loggings are taking place all over the country, which Protect the Forest has continuously been reporting about. In a press-release Birdlife Sweden states that there are good reasons to sound the alarm:

” The forest industry can no longer argue that all is peace and quiet just because plantations are allowed to grow in a larger proportion of Sweden’s landscape compared to in the 1990’s. Now the forest industry needs to start using sustainable forestry methods which support biodiversity.”