We are protecting vulnerable winter birds in the midst of a deadly Avian Influenza outbreak. Please help us today.

Learn more

New Indicator for Wintering Waterbirds in Scotland

New Indicator for Wintering Waterbirds in Scotland

09 Sep 2021

Curlew. Liz Cutting

The latest Biodiversity Indicator for Wintering Waterbirds in Scotland has been released by NatureScot.

This indicator tracks the population trends of 41 species, which are primarily counted by volunteers taking part in the BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), supplemented with additional targeted counts for geese and swans, and periodic surveys of rocky shore waders (the Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey, NEWS).

This indicator showed that overall waterbird numbers have decreased by 7%. Much of this decline is explained by waders, with numbers for the 14 species monitored 58% lower than in winter 1975/76. There was more positive news for ducks and swans (16 species), which increased by 21%, and geese (seven species/populations), which rose in number by 274%.

Scotland wintering waterbirds - abundance indicator 2021
Abundance of Wintering Waterbirds in Scotland, 1975/76-2018/19. Source: NatureScot

Related content