Report 567
An assessment of numbers of wintering divers, seaduck and grebes in inshore marine areas of Scotland
(2015)
Lawson, J., Kober, K., Win, I., Bingham, C., Buxton, N.E., Mudge, G., Webb, A., Reid, J.B., Black, J., Way, L. & O’Brien, S.
To support Scottish Natural Heritage in identifying possible marine SPAs and to provide the necessary quantitative evidence on inshore aggregations of seaduck, divers and grebes, JNCC completed a multi-year programme of surveys and analysis, the results of which are presented in this report.
 

Introduction

Scottish inshore waters are well known strongholds of seaducks, divers and grebes. Such species are afforded protection through the EU Birds Directive. Scottish Natural Heritage will advise Scottish Government where the most important areas for these species could merit protection as Special Protection Areas (SPAs).

To identify inshore areas that might be suitable for SPA classification, 45 areas of search around the UK were identified where potentially important numbers of waterbirds congregate outside the breeding season. In the 21 of these areas which were located in Scotland, data were collected over a period of ten years (2000–2010) during the winter season (November to March). They were collected by either aerial surveys, land based counts or boat surveys, whichever survey method was most appropriate to ensure the collection of representative data. Data were analysed to provide population estimates for each species and area of search, and population sizes were compared with the relevant population thresholds defined in Stages 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 of the UK SPA Selection Guidelines (Stroud et al 2001; Mudge & Buxton 2013).

Of the 21 areas of search, 14 held populations of at least one species exceeding the relevant population thresholds defined under Stages 1.1 or 1.2 of the UK SPA Selection Guidelines on a regular basis, and 16 of the areas held populations which exceeded their 1% UK population on a regular basis and could be considered by SNH under Stage 1.4 (Mudge & Buxton 2013). Only two areas did not hold any species in relevant numbers.

 
Download 

 

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.
 
ISSN 0963 8901
 
Please cite as: Lawson, J., Kober, K., Win, I., Bingham, C., Buxton, N.E., Mudge, G., Webb, A., Reid, J.B., Black, J., Way, L. & O’Brien, S., (2015), An assessment of numbers of wintering divers, seaduck and grebes in inshore marine areas of Scotland, JNCC Report 567, ISSN 0963 8901