Thursday, 3 April 2014

YEAR OF THE WADER COUNTS: HOW TO TAKE PART


The SGA is calling on all keepers on grouse moors to take part in our biggest ever conservation project- the SGA Year of the Wader. (see full details in previous post on web site).

How People Can Take Part:

Recording Presence and Recording Abundance.

Presence:

1/ Locate a decent sized Ordnance Survey map of your ground area. Squares should represent 1km square. These pink land ranger maps can be purchased at most walking/tourist information outlets.
2/The waders in this study are Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover.
When waders arrive on you ground, if you see a breeding PAIR in one of the 1km square boxes, mark either C for Curlew, L for Lapwing or P for Golden Plover in that box.
3/ If there is one pair of Curlew or 8 pairs in that box, only mark ‘C’ once. The key thing is to mark PRESENCE.
4/ Once you have recorded, and the waders are preparing to move on, send the information to info@scottishgamekeepers.co.uk marked “SGA Year of the Wader COUNTS’. Detail also how many gamekeepers work on your ground area and the name and size of your estate. (Estate names will be kept confidential).

Abundance:

If you have time, the SGA would gratefully receive data on Abundance.
1/ Take 2 of the 1km square boxes on your map, one where the number of breeding waders is highest and one where they are lowest. This will enable an average to be taken.
2/Divide each square kilometre box into 4 and spend 20/30 minutes in each quarter, recording everything seen.
3/Do this once in both squares, just before the eggs are hatched (likely to be around May) and once again in late June/July so you can see the numbers of fledged chicks.
4/Record all the information and send it to the SGA, as detailed in point 4 (above).


Notes on Waders in the Project:

Curlew are an Amber-listed species of conservation concern in the UK but their wider decline across their global range means their IUCN status is near threatened.
RSPB states: In some upland areas, the control of foxes and crows by gamekeepers managing moorlands for red grouse shooting may be important in maintaining breeding curlew populations and preventing further declines.
http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/curlew/conservation.aspx

Northern Lapwing are a Red-listed conservation species because of recent breeding population declines in the UK (1981 to 2007).

Golden Plover are an Amber-listed species of conservation concern

* To find out more about game management and Curlew survival, read: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12167/pdf