Friday, May 18, 2007

Seabird Monitoring Programme

Received the summary today. Throughout the UK breeding seabirds – of which we host 7M of 25 species - were slightly more successful in 2006 than they were in either 2004 or 05.

Guillemots suffered from widespread poor breeding success, with those in the Northern Isles faring slightly better. Fulmars in SE Scotland were still relatively unsuccessful, although better than previous years and kittiwake numbers reached a new low, in contrast to shag numbers which started to rise after the unexplained mortality event of 2005.

These four species are used as monitors as they represent about half of all breeding seabirds and each represents a unique feeding niche. Fulmars feed on near the surface, kittiwakes feed on small fish and sandeels, and guillemots and shags are diving species exploiting a wider range of fish.

The current 2005 report can be found at: www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3804 - the full report for 2006 will be published in the autumn and the new Seabird Monitoring Programme website can be found at: www.jncc.gov.uk/smp