Bringing back Yorkshire’s barn owls
Help Yorkshire Wildlife Trust bring back Yorkshire’s barn owls by adding your barn owl sightings to the map. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will use the information gathered through this site to:
- Identify priority areas to restore barn owl habitat
- Identify priority areas to install nest boxes
- Provide habitat advice where it is needed
- Respond quickly to planning applications which may have an impact on barn owls
Why are barn owls threatened?
Barn owls declined by approximately 70% in the last century as a result of a major loss of grassland habitat and nesting sites, an increase in the number of roads in the UK and the widespread use of agricultural chemicals including rodent poisons. The poor winters and wet summers of the late 2000’s kept barn owl numbers low, at an estimated 4,000 breeding pairs in the UK, until the heavy prolonged snowfall of March 2013 which had a severe effect on numbers, with some experts suggested that there are as few as 1,000 breeding pairs left in the UK. The breeding records for barn owls on Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves were very low in 2013, with many sites recording no pairs despite having previous records of breeding pairs.
How you can help
To give barn owls the best possible chance of recovery, we must ensure that they have the habitats they so desperately need. This will allow their numbers to increase, and give them a better chance of survival whatever the weather. Your sightings will help us identify the areas where targeted conservation work will help barn owls the most. Your support as a member of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will enable the Trust to carry out this work.
How to report a sighting
- Provide details of the sighting
- Drop a pin in the map to show us where you were
- Submit your sighting and see it appear on the map immediately