Seabirds Count is the fourth census of Britain and Ireland’s internationally important populations of breeding seabirds. Data for over 10,000 sites and more than 5,500 urban 1 km squares across Britain and Ireland were collected between 2015 and 2021, resulting in more than 40,000 records being submitted to the online Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) database and online urban gull data forms. For the past two years the Seabirds Count Editorial Board along with 30 species authors and co-authors and 26 reviewers have worked tirelessly to bring the results from this impressive effort to life.
Each of the regularly breeding species now have up to date breeding population estimates. The species chapters present population estimates and trends at different geographical scales along with distribution maps. Interpretation from species authors complements the results, drawing on recent research to piece together the possible drivers for population and distributional change. A separate chapter highlighting the rare breeding seabird species that have been found in Britain and Ireland across the censuses is also included.
This book is the product of thousands of survey hours spent on our cliffs, moorland and in towns and cities and just as many miles walked by as many as 1,000 volunteer and professional surveyors. It would not have been possible without their passion and determination to collect the data needed to produce these results. Equally, this project would not have even existed without the efforts of the original census steering group, a group consisting of over 20 organisations (listed below). Similarly, without the generous contributions of five marine renewable companies, UK, Welsh, Scottish and Irish governments some of the most important sites and species would not have been surveyed.
This book brings together the results of all these efforts providing an essential up to date baseline for assessing the future impacts seabirds face in Britain and Ireland and for judging the success of conservation actions taken to address them. These vital data will help aid our understanding of the relationships between seabirds and the pressures they face.
SEABIRDS COUNT STEERING GROUP: BirdWatch Ireland, The British Trust for Ornithology, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Northern Ireland), Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (Isle of Man), National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Republic of Ireland), JNCC, Manx Birdlife, Manx National Heritage, The National Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot), RSPB, Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Seabird Group, Shetland Oil Terminal Environmental Advisory Group, States of Guernsey Government, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust, Highland Ringing Group, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, and the University of Gloucestershire.