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Title: Waterways Breeding Bird Survey Pilot Study 1998: Adaptation of BBS Census Methods to Rivers and Canals
Author: Jh Marchant
Author: Rd Gregory
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_663, Representation ID: 223, Object ID: 1995
In order to fulfill their statutory duties for wildlife conservation, the Environment Agency and its sister organisations require good-quality information on the distribution and numbers of breeding birds along waterways and on how bird populations relate to the habitat available. The BT0, therefore, launched the Waterways Breeding Bird Survey (WBBS) as a pilot scheme in 1998. A sample of 201 stretches of waterway was selected randomly, with the aim of achieving coverage by volunteers of at least 100 stretches, Minimal modifications were made to the BBS transect method, aside from directing observers to cover waterways. The survey required two counting visits during the breeding season during which all birds seen or heard were recorded. Transect sections were each 500 metres to match RHS. Separate totals of birds seen or heard were produced for each section and for three distance categories plus an in-flight category. Mammal data were also collected. The WBBS has considerable benefits over the existing WBS in the relative simplicity of the methods, and in the efficient use of observers’ and analysts’ time. In all, 103 stretches of waterway comprising 600 500-metre sections were surveyed in the 1998 pilot survey, in line with our target figure. Stretches covered were widely distributed within Britain and approximated to a random sample. A further 61 canal plots, selected to investigate the possible effects on breeding bird numbers of a close season for coarse angling, were also surveyed in 1998 using WBBS methods; this study has been reported separately. Elements of WBBS requiring further pilot fieldwork have been identified and will be addressed during the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons. The Agency is asked to consider collecting a further set of RHS data, concurrently, this time on randomly selected WBBS stretches, so that links between the two sets of data can be investigated on a wider range of waterway types.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: RiversPopulationCanalsAquatic animalsSurveysCensusesOrnithology
Extent: 65
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