Industry and Nature in Harmony

New WeBS report

The latest data collected Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) volunteers provide an up-to-date overview of the most important UK sites for waterbirds and evidence of continuing changes in their populations. 

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has now published an interactive report for 2011/12 

This latest WeBS assessment, covering the period up to mid-2012, highlights the changing fortunes of different species in the UK.  As has been the case for several years, many familiar waders – Ringed Plover (down 31% in ten years), Dunlin (down 27%), Curlew (down 21%) and Redshank (down 21%) – are declining, probably due to a combination of factors such as climate change and habitat loss.  Yet some other species have increased – Avocet numbers for example have risen by 61% in the last ten years and Black-tailed Godwits by 57%. 

Chas Holt, WeBS Coordinator at BTO, said: “In 2011/12, WeBS volunteers made over 34,000 visits to wetland sites to count waterbirds.  This tremendous effort is a classic example of ‘citizen science’ at work, fundamental in illustrating what is happening to the UK’s internationally important waterbird populations. Our estuaries and other wetlands provide vital resources for these birds, and collaboration with monitoring schemes in other countries helps place into context the increasing and decreasing numbers we see in the UK”.

Recently on the Humber we have had a positive response to a request for new WeBS counters.  However, there are a few gaps remaining.   We are looking for people who are interesting in undertaking the monthly counts and there are also opportunities for those who can only commit to a couple of days per year.  You don't need to be an experienced waterbird counter, through you should be able to identify common waders and wildfowl.  By participating, you can directly help the conservation of Humber waterbirds and their wetlands.

If you think you can help or for more information, please contact the WeBS team at the British Trust for Ornithology at webs@bto.org or call 01842 750050


10 March 2014

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