Conservation management for lowland breeding waders in the UK

Mason, Lucy (2019) Conservation management for lowland breeding waders in the UK. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Biodiversity loss is occurring globally at an alarming rate through the impacts of an unsustainably expanding human population, with changes in land-use practices, pollution, exploitation of natural resources and climate threatening species and ecological communities worldwide. Species range contractions and population declines as a result of these changes, combined with predicted future changes in climatic distributions, make managing their remaining suitable habitats even more important. Threatened birds, by acting as indicators of ecosystem health, can provide a basis on which conservation management can be designed and targeted at the site-level. Waders breeding in European lowland habitats are an example of a species-suite in which populations have declined dramatically, and where concurrent range contractions are now compounded by the impacts of climate change. Breeding success (nest and chick survival to fledging) is the main demographic parameter driving these declines, so conservation management focusses on enhancing productivity by restoring or maintaining suitable nesting habitat and high levels of nest and chick survival. Such management can be organised into a decision tree where each step indicates a research requirement or deployment method in the conservation toolkit. Through two case studies of wader species breeding in lowland habitats in the UK (Redshank Tringa totanus on saltmarsh, and Lapwing Vanellus vanellus on wet grassland), the types of management required and challenges faced are explored, while discussing the research underpinning each step, including the contributions of eight key publications. The issues and solutions presented in these case studies are widely applicable to other lowland wader species and habitats at similar European latitudes. The next step will be to apply this conservation management at the landscape-scale across the continent to ensure the provision of effective supranational ecological networks of well-managed sites able to promote ecosystem resilience in the face of global threats.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Users 11011 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 14:08
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2019 14:08

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