As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Bad breeding year for Cumbria sea birds

Cumbria Wildlife Trust has reported that seabird chicks are in decline in the county.

After analysing the breeding success of several species across three of its coastal nature reserves, the charity found that the numbers of birds to have fledged over the summer has seen a dramatic decline in some instances.

At South Walney Nature Reserve on Walney Island, the number of breeding Herrings and Lesser Black-backed Gulls was estimated at 4,500 breeding pairs in spring 2014, compared to 6,000 the previous year.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls are on the Amber list of conservation concern, as the UK is home to 40 per cent of the European population, and more than half of these are found at less than 10 sites across the country.

Herring Gulls are also found at fewer than 10 sites in the UK, and are in a slightly more worrying situation on the Red list. They have experienced a moderate decline in their numbers over the past 25 years.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust protected the breeding colonies from predators by erecting electric fencing, and believes that had this not been done then the decline in the population of both bird species would have potentially been much worse.

Continued ...

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