Densities and population estimates of breeding Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola in Britain in 2003.

Author Hoodless, A.N., Lang, D., Aebischer, N.J., Fuller, R.J., & Ewald, J.A.
Citation Hoodless, A.N., Lang, D., Aebischer, N.J., Fuller, R.J., & Ewald, J.A. (2009). Densities and population estimates of breeding Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola in Britain in 2003. Bird Study, 56: 15-25.

Abstract

Capsule The breeding Eurasian Woodcock population in Britain was estimated at 78,346 males (95% CL 61 717-96 493), with substantial differences in densities between regions and woodland type.
Aim To estimate the breeding population size of Woodcock in Britain using a dedicated survey method, to enable assessment of current status and the creation of a baseline for future monitoring.
Methods Passes of roding male Woodcock were recorded on three evening visits to 807 randomly selected sites, stratified by region and woodland size, by volunteer observers during May-June 2003.
Results Roding Woodcock were present in 35% of 1-km squares containing at least 10 ha of woodland and the mean density of males in occupied squares was 2.76 ± 0.29 birds/km2 (± se). There was significant regional variation in the occurrence and density of roding Woodcock. Woodcock presence differed between woodland types at the 1-km2 level and the stand level, but densities within occupied woods were similar across woodland types.
Conclusion Previous estimates of the size of the British breeding Woodcock population are far too low and the species shows much spatial variation in breeding density.

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