Appendix 6. Species accounts: presentational issues

Each species account is presented in a standard format.


  • Section 1 summarises the biological, legal and conservation status of the species (or sub-species or population) in the UK.
  • Section 2 presents population size and 1% threshold information. It shows the total number of individuals occurring within the SPA suite for the species concerned and also expresses this number as a proportion of relevant national and international populations. (Relevant international/ biogeographic populations are defined in Appendix 4, and sources for this information given). Note that it is possible to have large numbers of a species occurring within the biogeographic entity of the island of Ireland, although – through features of dispersal – low numbers in Northern Ireland (and thus limited occurrence within SPAs there).
  • Section 3 briefly summarises the distribution of the species at global, European and national scales and outlines the taxonomic status of those birds occurring in the UK with respect to the wider context of the species. It also notes aspects of the ecology of the species that are relevant to issues of site-related conservation. Distributional information, where not cited, is taken from The Birds of the Western Palearctic (Cramp & Simmons 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985), The Concise Birds of the Western Palearctic (Snow & Perrins 1998), the Handbook of the Birds of the World (del Hoyo et al. 1992, 1994, 1996) as well as from the EBBC European Bird Atlas (Hagemeijer & Blair 1997).
  • Section 4 outlines the presence of different populations of the same species that may be present in the UK and provides information on corresponding population sizes and trends in these, generally over the last 30-40 years.
  • Section 5 summarises the number of SPAs selected for each species. It also highlights relevant wider conservation measures being undertaken for the species, where those measures are specifically targeted to that species' conservation requirements. In particular, it notes the implementation of national and international action/biodiversity plans by the UK.
  • Section 6 presents the process of site selection used to develop the species' SPA suite. In particular, it presents justification for any sites selected under Stage 1 of the guidelines but not subsequently selected under Stage 2. It also presents the reasoning for the selection of 'additional' SPAs under Stage 1.4.
  • The final section of the account presents a map showing the location of sites within the species' SPA suite and a table listing the sites selected, the total number of birds per site, the proportions of national and international populations present on each site and the guideline by which each site was selected. Note that for non-breeding waterbirds, the total presented against each site is (generally) the five year peak mean count, whilst the suite total presented at the bottom of the table derives from a 'snapshot' assessment of the suite in January or another relevant month. This is in order to ensure there is no double-counting of birds through the use of inappropriate statistics (see Appendix 5, section A5.4 for further information).
  • Each species account includes a map showing the location of selected sites within the SPA suite for the species concerned. Sites for species selected under Guidelines 1.1, 1.2 and 1.4 are indicated by a diamond symbol ( ). Sites where the species forms an important component of an assemblage identified under Guideline 1.3 are shown by a square ( ). Note that the symbols used are not proportionate to the size of the site. Maps in the Site Section (Appendix 7, sections A7.3–A7.23 - See the UK Index of regional maps) give the locations of each site, and show boundaries of classified sites or the indicative size of proposed sites.


Note that in the species accounts and elsewhere, the term 'international population' is used synonymously to refer to the relevant biogeographical population of the species concerned. It does not refer to the total world population for which the terms 'global population' or 'global numbers' are used where they are relevant.

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