Decades of drainage and agricultural intensification have caused huge declines in numbers of breeding waders in the lowland wet-grasslands of Western Europe. Although we were already well aware of these problems by 1995, and farmland prescriptions have been used to try to arrest the declines since then, we have still lost nearly half of Britain’s breeding Lapwing in the last twenty years. Even on nature reserves and in sympathetically-managed wet-grassland, it has proved hard to boost the number of chicks produced. Why is this and what else is there that can be done?
This is a summary of a presentation by Professor Jennifer Gill of the University of East Anglia and Dr Jen Smart of RSPB, delivered at the BOU’s Grassland Workshop (IOC Vancouver, 2018).
There are five key techniques in the tool-kit used by conservationists trying to support breeding waders:
- Make the site attractive to waders
- Manage predator numbers
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