A6.106 Annex I and migratory species for which no SPAs have been selected

3. Rails

Moorhens Gallinula chloropus are widely distributed across Britain and Ireland (other than in north-west Scotland). Britain is particular important in terms of the European conservation of this species. Indeed, Britain and Ireland hold 35% of the European population, with smaller numbers also in France, The Netherlands and Spain (Hagemeijer & Blair 1997). The range (and numbers) of Moorhen declined between 1968–1972 and 1988–1991 (Gibbons et al. 1993). There are no known internationally important concentrations in the UK, though Moorhens occur incidentally in most wetland SPAs classified for other waterbirds. Water Rails Rallus aquaticus are locally distributed across the UK. Britain and Ireland lie on the edge of the European range and together hold only a small proportion of the European population (c. 1.5%). Although traditional sites are used, there are no known concentrations of European importance, but census data are very poor.