Andy Evans, Head of Global Species Recovery at the RSPB joins us in today’s blog to talk about some of the progress we made in 2022 to save species and habitats in the UK, the UK Overseas Territories and further afield.

If you’ve been following our blogs for the last few weeks, you’ll know that we’ve been hearing from some of the RSPB’s Nature Recovery Groups – namely, Broadleaved Woodland, Farmland and Coastal and Wetland. These groups, along with four more - Globally Threatened Species, Upland, Marine and Lowland Heathland Nature Recovery Groups, are responsible for keeping track of our work to save species and habitats not only in the UK but in the UK Overseas Territories and further afield.

Every year, our Nature Recovery Groups report on the progress we’ve made to save species and habitats and this year we’ve pulled out some of the good news stories to give you an insight into some of the work that we and our partners are doing to save nature. You can view these stories in the new ‘RSPB Saving Nature in 2022’ report, available to download here.

Saving species is not an easy task – it can take decades to turn around the fortunes of our most threatened wildlife. But it does work. Red Kites, Bitterns and White-tailed Eagles are just a few of the species to have benefitted from dedicated species recovery work – and our isles are all the richer for it.

Bittern numbers have grown thanks to dedicated species recovery work. © Ben Andrew (

Our conservation toolkit
While saving populations of species under threat is not simple, we do have an array of conservation options or ‘tools’ available to us that can help us to achieve our goals.

These include: science (to help us understand when a species is in trouble, why it is in trouble, how we can help it and if that help is working), species protection (protecting species from illegal persecution and disturbance), nature reserve acquisition and management (owning and managing nature reserves helps us to create and manage sites for wildlife); conservation management advice (sharing our expertise with other landowners, managers, business and communities to help them help nature).

As you’ll see in the report, often work to help species involves using multiple conservation tools.

There are a number of ‘conservation tools’ available to us to help threatened species, including science – here RSPB staff are downloading data from a GPS tag retrieved from a seabird. © Andy Hay (

Following the curve
We measure our progress using the ‘Species Recovery Curve’ – a four-step process that every species passes through on their journey to recovery. We first work out why species are in trouble. Then we test measures to help them. When we find a solution or solutions that work, we roll these out. And in time, if the measures are successful the species reaches the final legacy stage – sometimes species will need continued help to ensure their recovery stays on track, other times the recovery may be sustainable.

Saving nature
We’re helping nature on many different scales – from species on the small-side, such as rare hoverflies, sandeels and Spiky Yellow Woodlice through to oak trees, Capercaillie and vultures – and many more species in between.

Our work to save species simply wouldn’t happen without the support of our staff and volunteers, partners and funders. If you’d like to learn more about how together, we’re helping the wildlife of our seas and oceans, coasts, islands, freshwater wetlands, woodlands and forests, lowland heathland, farmland, urban habitats and upland habitats, as well as flyway-scale conservation, then please do delve into the report.

We’re helping species in the UK, as well as further afield – including unique wildlife such as the Spiky Yellow Woodlouse on the UK Overseas Territory of St Helena. © Ed Thorpe (

Continue reading
Find out more about the RSPB’s work to support the species and habitats of our Wild Isles and further afield:
• A view from the waves – how we’re working with retailers to make seafood safer for seabirds
• A view from the mudflats
• A view from the fields
• A view from the treetops
• Looking to the skies – the UK’s importance on a bird superhighway

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