Dotterel brooding chicks
Within the UK, the Dotterel now only breeds on plateaux in the highest Scottish mountains, restricted by habitat that is more commonly found in the arctic or arctic-alpine regions.
As soon as climate change became apparent, the Dotterel turned into a focal species for ornithologists who were interested in how species would be affected by climate heating. Their fate seemed to be sealed; put simply, there is nowhere colder in Britain to which to retreat when faced with changing habitats and/or breeding conditions.
A 2020 paper by Steven Ewing, Alistair Baxter and colleagues explores the potential ways that changing environmental conditions may be driving the Dotterel’s decline.
Scottish Dotterels don’t actually spend much time in Scotland, with most birds arriving in early May and leaving within three months. The large part of the year is spent in North Africa, and the plains to the northwest…
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