Friday, August 20, 2010

and now for some good news

Birds given special protection in Liverpool Bay

Common scoter duck
Thousands of common scoters spend winter in Liverpool Bay

Liverpool Bay has been designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds.

The bay, which stretches from Anglesey in Wales to the Lancashire coast, is one of 15 marine protected areas to be given the status on Friday (today the 20th August 2010).

It is known for being home to thousands of common scoters and hundreds of red-throated divers each winter.

The bay has been given SPA status after being identified as internationally important for its biodiversity.

The special protection means the wildlife has to be protected for the benefit of present and future generations, the Countryside Council for Wales said.

Nearly 1,000 red-throated divers spend the winter in Liverpool Bay, and more than 50,000 common scoters - 58% of Britain's population - regularly make the bay their home every winter. They are often seen in large groups offshore, or as long lines flying along the coast.

The decision to grant the bay SPA status, under the European directive on the conservation of wild birds, follows a three-month public consultation, which started last November.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Latest WeBS report

In recent years, the UK’s estuaries and other wetlands have seen several notable changes in the birds using them. Little Egret and Avocet are now present in higher numbers than ever before, but familiar species such as Ringed Plover and Dunlin are at all-time lows, and other coastal waders such as Redshank, Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit have also experienced recent declines.
The latest WeBS report, covering the winter of 2008/09, documents the expansion of four native waterbird populations in the UK, with Pink-footed Goose, Svalbard Barnacle Goose, Little Egret and Avocet all noted at record levels. Avocet for example has increased by over 1000% in the last twenty years.
In contrast, populations of six species reached an all-time low point; Mallard, Pochard, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Ringed Plover and Dunlin – all of which have declined by at least 20% in the last twenty years.