Population trends of widespread breeding birds in the Republic of Ireland 1998-2008
Capsule The first analyses of trends in relative abundance of terrestrial birds in Ireland showed that trends were predominantly stable or increased between 1998 and 2008. Aims To determine trends in relative abundance of common and widespread breeding birds in the Republic of Ireland between 1998 and 2008. Methods Changes in abundance of 52 species were described nationally, and at regional level, by fitting log-linear regression models to transect data gathered as part of the Countryside Bird Survey between 1998 and 2008. Results Some 22 species were shown to increase, 8 species declined, and 22 species were relatively stable. Greatest increases were seen in Stonechats Saxicola torquata, Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla, European Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis, Common Redpolls C. flammea, and Common Bullfinches Pyrrhula pyrrhula. The greatest declines in trends were in Common Kestrels Falco tinnunculus, Common Swifts Apus apus, Sky Larks Alauda arvensis and Mistle Thrushes Turdus viscivorus. Most of the national trends were consistent across eight regions. Conclusions Breeding bird populations in the Republic of Ireland have generally fared well between 1998 and 2008, although declining trends in Sky Larks and Common Kestrels in particular may indicate that farming practices continue to impact on farmland specialists. The declines shown in European Robins Erithacus rubecula, Mistle Thrushes and Black-billed Magpies Pica pica were unexpected. The significant population trends presented are largely consistent with those in Britain and in Europe. The trends contrast with other European populations by the increases shown for Common Bullfinches and House Sparrows Passer domesticus and the decline shown for European Robins and Rooks Corvus frugilegus. © 2010 British Trust for Ornithology.
Crowe, O; Coombes, RH; Lysaght, L; O'Brien, C; Choudhury, KR; Walsh, AJ; Wilson, JH; O'Halloran, J
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)