8 million seabirds surveyed

Major project's findings to be published in April 2004

 

2004 will see the publication of Seabird Populations of Britain and Ireland, which summarises the results of Seabird 2000, a project led by JNCC to census all 25 species of seabird breeding in Britain and Ireland.
 
A partnership between JNCC, the statutory nature conservation agencies, RSPB, the Seabird Group, Shetland Oil Terminal Environmental Advisory Group (SOTEAG), BirdWatch Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service (Dept of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Republic of Ireland), Seabird 2000 was launched in April 1999 by Elliot Morley MP.
 
Fieldwork was completed in 2002, with over 1,000 surveyors taking part, who recorded over 8 million seabirds breeding at 3,200 colonies along 40,000 km of coastline, and at 900 inland sites.
Seabird 2000 follows on from two previous censuses, Operation Seafarer in 1969-70 and The Seabird Colony Register in 1985-88, thus allowing population trends over the last 15 to 30 years to be assessed. In the book, species experts focus on the main factors causing change in the population of each species, highlighting any major threats and topics requiring further study.
 
Seabird 2000 is a major contribution to Common Standards Monitoring in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, with over 40% of SPAs designated because of seabird interest. The UK and Ireland hold internationally important assemblages of seabirds including 90% of the world's Manx Shearwaters, 68% of Northern Gannets and 60% of Great Skuas. The book provides an accurate baseline with which to compare future monitoring. For the first time, accurate baseline estimates were obtained for populations of nocturnal species (petrels and shearwaters) breeding on the remotest of the British Isles.

The book is being published by T & A D Poyser, London.
 
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