Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the population status of birds in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man
This is the fourth review of the status of birds in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Using standardised criteria, 244 species were assessed and assigned to the Red, Amber or Green list of conservation concern. The assessment criteria include conservation status at global and European levels and, within the UK, historical decline, trends in population and range, rarity, localised distribution and international importance. The findings are alarming, with 20 species moving on to the Red list and only three leaving it. Three formerly regular breeding species are considered to have ceased breeding in the UK (Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii, Wryneck Jynx torquilla and European Serin Serinus serinus). Some 67 (27.5%) of the UK's regularly occurring bird species are now on the Red list. As well as reinforcing existing conservation concerns, such as for birds of woodland and lowland farmland and for long-distance migrants, this assessment should heighten concern for other groups. Five upland species, including Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Dotterel Charadrius morinellus, have moved to the Red list. Declines in the UK's internationally important breeding seabird populations are emphasised here by the Red-listing of Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla and Puffin Fratercula arctica. Yet the effect of well-targeted conservation action is demonstrated by the recovery of Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris and European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, with both moving from Red to Amber.