Wading in to help Moorland Birds

A survey recording the number of waders breeding on the moorland of the North York Moors is currently underway. Funded by the National Park Authority and Natural England, information collected during the survey will be used to inform future decisions around moorland management to benefit these birds.

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Curlew, golden plover, lapwing and snipe are the four species of wader that nest on the North York Moors. Lapwing is ‘red’ listed as a Bird of Conservation Concern affording it the highest conservation priority with species needing urgent action. The other three are all listed as ‘amber status’. Curlew is also identified as ‘Near Threatened’ under IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) international criteria, one of only four UK breeding birds listed and the one for which we have the greatest proportion of the global population.

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Simon Wightman, the National Park Authority’s Head of Natural Environment, said:

“We were obviously concerned about the decline in lapwing breeding on the moors highlighted by the 2008 survey, and curlew too is becoming a worry with numbers in the UK declining by 45% between 1995 and 2011. This is a species for which we have a strong international responsibility given the declines that have been recorded across its range and the high proportion of the population that breeds in the UK. The Authority, Natural England and landowners will continue to do what we can to maintain and improve conditions for waders.

Chris Marsden

Vale Radio, Unit 1, 16 The Village, Haxby, York, York