Assemblages of breeding birds

Context

Assemblages of breeding birds can be notified as SSSI features if they qualify under criteria 3.5 and 3.7 of Chapter 14 'Birds'  of the Guidelines for Selection of Biological SSSIs.  In Northern Ireland, ASSIs are selected on a very similar basis – the Guidelines for the Selection of Biological ASSIs in Northern Ireland is an addendum to the SSSI guidelines rather than an alternative. 
 
Under criterion 3.5, a scoring system is used to identify whether an individual site is of high enough quality.  The scoring system puts a value on possible members of the assemblage; these vary between species by habitat and can vary regionally.  Under criterion 3.7, a site can be notified if there are at least 70 breeding species.
 
There are no equivalent features for Special Protection Areas or Ramsar sites.
 

Summary statistics

  A/SSSI Total
Favourable condition 73% 73%
Main monitoring coverage E, S  
Reported assessments 180 180
Completeness of assessments unknown  
Distribution of features   UK
 

Number of assessments reported by country and site type

Country SSSI/ASSI
England 38
Scotland 139
Wales 0
Northern Ireland 3
United Kingdom 180
 

SSSI features

List of SSSI and ASSI interest features in this reporting category

Interest feature name  
Formal name Informal name No. of assessments reported
Breeding bird assemblage Breeding bird assemblage 177
Waterfowl assemblage Waterfowl assemblage 3
 
This list has not been fully standardised at a UK level yet. It is intended to show the principal constituent "feature types" for this reporting category.
 

Maps - distribution

UK distibution of reported interest features

Distribution of reported interest features.

Map showing the locations of the 10km squares in which at least one condition assessment has been reported. It does not show features that have not yet been assessed.

 

Maps - SSSI

Current condition of SSSI/ASSI features Condition of SSSI/ASSI features, with those currently reported as unfavourable-recovering shown as favourable
Current condition of SSSI/ASSI features
Distribution of SSSI/ASSI features showing assessments of favourability (where unfavourable-recovering is counted as unfavourable).
Condition of SSSI/ASSI features, with those currently reported as unfavourable-recovering shown as favourable
The implication of the unfavourable-recovering condition assessments is that at some point in the future these features should become favourable. This map shows the effect of that recovery by counting the favourable and unfavourable-recovering assessments together.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: we do not have information on the timescale of the predicted recovery, which may be influenced by many past, natural and human related factors. A sustained sympathetic management regime is more likely to result in favourable condition being attained.

Key: Proportion of assessed features on 10km squares that are favourable:

SSSI map legend - Proportion of assessed features on 10km squares that are favourable

 

Details of how these maps were produced

 

Condition summary

Reporting category condition summary on SSSI/ASSI sites

This lists the 10 different condition assessments and presents a bar chart showing the number of features within the SSSI series. Note that we are unable to estimate the total number of SSSI/ASSI features because we do not have an overall list of notified interest features for these designations.

 

NB favourable unclassified and unfavourable unclassified have been used in this first six year cycle to get around difficulties in identifying trends in condition as common standards monitoring is implemented. It is expected that these categories will not be used for subsequent assessments of a feature.

 

Condition assessment - SSSI features

The number and proportion of assessments for SSSI/ASSI interest features falling into each of the condition categories
The number and proportion of assessments for SSSI/ASSI interest features falling into each of the condition categories. Note that the �unfavourable� category includes all reports of unfavourable condition except �unfavourable recovering� which is shown as a separate segment.
 

Adverse activities

The number of interest features where an activity has been reported as being implicated in the "unfavourable" condition of a feature
The number of interest features where an activity has been reported as being implicated in the "unfavourable" condition of a feature. More than one adverse activity may be reported for each feature.
 

Management measures

The measures summary bar chart lists the management measures relevant to the reporting category
For each "measure" the chart shows the number of interest features where that measure has been taken on a site to improve or maintain the condition of an interest feature. More than one measure may be reported for each feature assessed.
 

Interpretation

73% of A/SSSI features reported are in favourable condition.  This is above the average for species features and well above the average for all features combined.  A further 6% of features reported are unfavourable-recovering.  No distinctions are made on the type of assemblages, or the habitats for which they have been notified, so it is not possible to provide a further breakdown of the condition of different types of assemblages.  The condition of these features appears to be better in Scotland (78% favourable) than England (53% favourable).  The reasons for this difference are not clear.
 
Only a few assessments provided information on adverse activities, and measures taken to address unfavourability or maintain features in favourable condition, but over-grazing, water management and invasive species are listed as the most important factors contributing to unfavourable condition.
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