Dramatic population decline of Northern Ireland breeding waders

17 Sep 2015 - 18:38 -- Eduardo de Juana

During 1987–2013 the Northern Ireland breeding populations of Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) declined by 82%, 89% and 78% respectively#R. Furthermore, the distributions of all three species became increasingly fragmented and largely restricted towards the western counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh. Urgent conservation action is needed to prevent the disappearance of these species from the wider countryside.

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Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)


Scolopax Arquata

Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.

Name suschkini sometimes spelt erroneously as sushkini. Racial variation clinal; suschkini sometimes treated as a synonym of ...

Descriptive notes: 50–60 cm; male 410–1010 g, female 475–1360 g; wingspan 80–100 cm. Large greyish-brown curlew with long bill and plain head pattern; head, neck, breast and upperparts buffy brown with dark streaking, although...
figure, drawing, illustration of Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)


Tringa Vanellus

Linnaeus, 1758, Europe, Africa; restricted to Sweden.

In the past, genus Vanellus commonly considered to contain present species only. Monotypic.

Descriptive notes: 28–31 cm; 128–330 g; wingspan 82–87 cm. Metallic glossy green upperparts, blackish crest and bronze scapulars; very broad wings, especially in breeding males. Female has less distinctive head pattern and white flecks...
figure, drawing, illustration of Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)


Scolopax Gallinago

Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.

Until recently, considered conspecific with G. delicata. Also sometimes lumped with G. nigripennis, G. paraguaiae and G....

Descriptive notes: 25–27 cm; 72–181 g; wingspan 44–47 cm. Small to medium-sized snipe, with rather long bill and white belly; plumage variable, and melanistic morph occurs (e.g. in Ireland); flight generally faster and more erratic than...
figure, drawing, illustration of Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)