The species underwent a decline in numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries due to the effects of habitat drainage and persecution for predating upon game species. The population declined to just a single pair between 1959 and 1971, mainly as a result of egg-shell thinning caused by organochloride pesticides such as DDT. After 1972 the population began to recover; in 1994 there were 129 pairs, and numbers have continued to increase. Current threats include the deliberate disturbance of nesting sites, egg collecting, illegal poisoning and predation by foxes. The small size of reedbed habitats may result in an increased impact of disturbance (3).
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