Northern Ireland Seabird Report 2014
Published: March 2015
Publisher: British Trust for Ornithology Pages: 57pp
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Interest in Northern Ireland’s marine environment continues to grow. The process of designating Marine Conservation Zones in Northern Ireland waters is ongoing, and there is considerable effort being put into consideration of a number of SPA extensions. Despite the recent withdrawal of proposals for the development of an offshore wind farm off the Co. Down coast, there are many other developments being considered in Northern Ireland’s marine environment. Designations and planning consents all require high quality marine biodiversity data of various types, including for birds.
At the core of the Seabird Network in Northern Ireland are our surveyors. Some work for Government bodies such as NIEA, while others survey on behalf of NGOs such as RSPB, Ulster Wildlife and the National Trust. We are grateful for their co-operation and assistance. Many other surveyors are volunteers who give up their time freely to help, simply because of a love and admiration of these bird species. The amount and quality of work that can be undertaken by volunteers is amazing and in 2014 we were fortunate that many new and enthusiastic people joined the already talented Seabird Network. The Seabird Network now numbers 60 people, a great achievement when there were only 20 people in Northern Ireland surveying seabirds just two years ago.
The report on breeding seabirds in Northern Ireland during 2014 presented here is similar to 2013. We have kept
the detail from previous years, even where data have changed little since our last report. It is important that this report represents a summary of current species knowledge, and that reference to other, earlier, reports is not necessary. In this we are taking a similar stance to JNCC and their online SMP report and this is doubtless the best way to present such a report.
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this report and to encourage more people to join the Seabird Network and contribute to future reports. Naturally a summary such as this does not reference every single piece of data collected but each tiny piece really is of value in understanding our local seabirds. A report such as this is only as robust as the data it contains, as we are aware, so if you have seabird population data, either recent or historic, then please share it with us, and JNCC, for the benefit of seabirds in Northern Ireland.
NotesThis report is the published outcome of the work of the Northern Ireland Seabird Network – a network of volunteers, researchers and organisations – coordinated by the BTO Seabird Coordinator, and funded by NIEA.
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