At the beginning of the nineteenth century, European starlings were quite rare (5). After that, they underwent an increase in numbers, and were one of Britain's most widespread and common birds, found throughout Britain, except on higher ground in Scotland (3). However, the species has more recently suffered a dramatic reversal of fortune; since the 1980s, European starling abundance has decreased severely, giving great cause for conservation concern (7). The greatest declines of a shocking 92% have occurred in woodland, but this may represent sub-optimal habitat for the European starling. On farmland declines of 66% have occurred (8). Outside of Britain, the European starling occurs throughout Europe, reaching central and southern Asia, and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and North America (6).
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