Water bird stats

Data published yesterday by Defra on breeding bird numbers:

– Birds of slow flowing and still water up 73% since 1975:  Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Moorhen and Great-crested Grebe.

– Birds of wet grassland down 56% since 1975:  Mute Swan, Yellow Wagtail, Teal, Redshank, Curlew, Little Egret, Snipe and Lapwing.

– Birds of faster flowing rivers down 17% since 1975:  Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Goosander and Dipper.

As with other groups of plants and animals this suggests that the specialists of high quality habitats are declining whilst generalist and robust species are faring well. There could also be a link with the increase in open water provided by gravel pits since the 1970s.

See: http://www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/environment/wildlife/download/pdf/110120-stats-wild-bird-populations-uk.pdf

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