Assemblages of waterbirds


Figure 6.104.1 Distribution of SPAs selected for holding internationally important assemblages of waterbirds
The UK is of outstanding international importance for its waterbird populations – one of the notable features of the UK avifauna (Fuller 1982; Moser 1987; Davidson et al. 1991; Ferns 1992; Scott & Rose 1996; Madsen et al. 1999). Internationally important assemblages of more than 20,000 waterbirds have been selected under Stage 1.3 to represent this interest (Figure 6.104.1). This also reflects the requirement of Article 4.2 of the Birds Directive to pay particular attention to wetlands of international importance (Temple-Lang 1982).
A total of 57 sites have been selected (Table 6.104.1). Each of these sites holds more than 20,000 waterbirds, generally in the non-breeding season. In order to identify the important components of these assemblages, all species occurring at levels of more than 1% of national populations or where there are more than 2,000 individuals present were identified (section 4.3.1 PDF, 56 kb). These components are highlighted in the respective species accounts. Many of these sites have already been designated by the UK as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in support of that convention's aim to "stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetland now and in the future" through the wise use of wetlands.

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