Glossary

 
All-Ireland
All-Ireland comprises the whole of Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) (section 2.2).
All-Ireland population
The total population of a species occurring in the whole of Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Standard 1% thresholds derived from all-Ireland population estimates are used for assessment purposes (section 4.2.1).
Area
Areas to be classified as SPAs should:
  • be distinct in habitat and/or ornithological importance from the surroundings and have definable and recognisable character;
  • provide the conservation requirements of the species in the season(s) and for the particular purposes for which they are classified.
(see also 'Use' of areas)
Biogeographical population
A group of birds which breed in a particular location (or group of locations), breed freely within the group, and rarely breed or exchange individuals with other groups. Standard 1% thresholds derived from biogeographical population estimates are used for assessment purposes (section 4.2.1).
Complementarity
The extent to which protected areas, within a network of protected areas, complement one another in the features (species or habitats) they contain.
Country
Country is taken to refer to either Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales or England.
Density
The number of individuals of a species per unit area. In practice, a range of methods is used to assess numbers in SPAs, for example, breeding pairs and singing males.
Great Britain
Great Britain comprises Scotland, Wales and England, but excludes Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
Great Britain population
The total population of a species occurring in Scotland, Wales and England, but excluding the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Standard 1% thresholds derived from Great Britain population estimates are used for assessment purposes (section 4.2.1).
Hectads
Ten-by-ten kilometre grid squares of the British and Irish national grids generally used as a framework for biological recording purposes.
International population
This term is used synonymously to refer to the relevant biogeographical population of the species concerned. It does not refer to the total world population for which the terms 'global population' or 'global numbers' are used where they are relevant.
Meta-population
A population of populations. A defined set of geographically separate populations with at least some exchange of individuals between the separate populations – in other words, systems of local populations connected by dispersing individuals.
Migratory
Article I(1)(a) of the Bonn Convention defines a migratory species as "the entire population or any geographically separate part of the population of any species or lower taxon of wild animals, a significant proportion of whose members cyclically and predictably cross one or more national jurisdictional boundaries".
National
National is taken here to refer to the United Kingdom.
Natura 2000
The EU network of classified SPAs and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) designated under Article 4 of the EU Habitats Directive (EEC/92/43). SACs are sites of European importance for habitats or species identified under the latter Directive.
Population viability
Populations which contribute most to population viability locally and as a whole may show one or more of the following attributes:
  1. level of recruitment into the breeding population that equals or exceeds immigration and mortality (averaged over a suitable period of time); and/or
  2. small-scale population fluctuations around a stable population size; and/or
  3. an area supporting a population of a species which enables its geographic range to be maintained on a long-term basis.

Best-available scientific data will be used to make such assessments.

Ramsar Convention
The informal name of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (sometimes also known as the Convention on Wetlands). The Convention was adopted at a meeting of countries concerned with wetlands and waterfowl held in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 and was ratified by the UK in 1976.
Regular
The Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention has defined the term 'regularly' as used in the Ramsar site selection criteria. This definition applies also to the SPA guidelines. A wetland regularly supports a population of a given size if:
  • the requisite number of birds is known to have occurred in two-thirds of the seasons for which adequate data are available, the total number of seasons being not less than three; or
  • the mean of the maxima of those seasons in which the site is internationally important, taken over at least five years, amounts to the required level (means based on three or four years may be quoted in provisional assessments only).

In some instances, however, for example species occurring in very remote areas or which are particularly rare, areas may be considered suitable on the basis of fewer counts.
Seabirds
In the context of the application of guideline 1.3, seabirds are defined as species within the families Procellariidae, Hydrobatidae, Sulidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Stercorariidae, Laridae and Alcidae.
Source
Area/local population, within which fecundity exceeds the sum of mortality and immigration, and results in a net emigration of individuals.
Special Protection Area (SPA)
An area classified under Article 4 of the Birds Directive.
SPA classification
The process of formally notifying SPAs to the European Commission.
SPA network
The total national (UK) network of all classified or proposed SPAs. It is the aggregate of many separate SPA suites.
SPA suite
Refers to those classified or proposed SPAs selected under Article 4 of the Bird Directive to fulfil relevant site-protection requirements for one particular species, sub-species or population.
Special conservation measures
Article 4.1 of the Birds Directive requires that "special conservation measures" are taken to conserve the habitat of species listed in Annex I of the Directive, to ensure their survival and reproduction in their area of distribution, in particular the classification of SPAs. Similar measures must be taken for regularly occurring migratory species, under Article 4.2.
Species range
The limits of a species' geographical distribution. Article 4 of the Birds Directive requires Member States to ensure the survival and reproduction of Annex I and regularly occurring migratory species "in their area of distribution". Article I of the Habitats Directive necessitates that, amongst other considerations, the "natural range of the species" be maintained for a species' status to be regarded as favourable.
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom comprises England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (but excludes the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man).
Use of areas
Article 4.2 of the Birds Directive requires special measures to be taken for migratory species at "breeding, moulting and wintering areas and staging posts along their migration routes". The boundary of each SPA is so determined that it delimits an area which provides the conservation requirements of the species in the season(s) and for the particular purposes for which it is classified.
Waterbirds
In the context of the application of guideline 1.3, waterbirds are defined as migratory species within the families Gaviidae, Podicipedidae, Phalacrocroracidae, Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae, Anatidae, Gruidae, Rallidae, Haematopodidae, Recurvirostridae, Burhinidae, Charadriidae, and Scolopacidae. The term waterfowl has the same meaning within the context of this review.