In the UK the Whinchat Saxicola rubetra population has declined by 53%, and 44% in England, in only 21 years (1995 and 2016). It is now localised within England, occurring in northern uplands and in pockets in the south, such as Salisbury Plain and the south-west. This severe decline in the breeding population saw the Whinchat move from the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern to the Red List in 2015.
During the 2019 breeding season BiOME are working on a Whinchat research project on the Long Mynd, Shropshire where the national population decline has been mirrored. This projects’ aim is to not only discover the reasons for the local decline, but also to be involved in developing ways of reversing it.
Nests will be found and birds colour-ringed; following which breeding success will be assessed and reasons for failure determined (when possible). Data in relation to habitat use will also be collected and assessed.
The colour-ring combination on each bird is unique, ensuring that individuals can be identified in the field. The proportion returning each following year will give an indication of longevity, and mortality rates.
The results of this research will be published here.
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