Limosa article summary      



NIJLAND F & J POSTMA (2016) How many meadowbirds breed in Fryslân?. LIMOSA 89 (1): 12-22.

The province of Fryslân (Friesland) has long been known as the most important province for breeding meadow birds in the Netherlands. Since 1996, trends of breeding meadow birds have been monitored in a sample of sites in the Weidevogelmeetnet Friesland (wmf) territory mapping scheme. On the basis of wmf data from 2011-2013 this paper presents estimates of the total size of meadow bird populations in Fryslân. Extrapolations of densities in four management strata on the mainland were combined with numbers found in integral surveys of coastal forelands and islands in the Frisian Wadden Sea. Among primary meadow birds, which breed predominantly in agricultural grasslands and arable land, the most abundant species are Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus with 19 800 breeding pairs, Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 17 900, Blacktailed Godwit Limosa limosa 13 500, Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis 10 700 and Common Redshank Tringa totanus 9800. With the exception of Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus and Common Tern Sterna hirundo wich breed more abundantly on Wadden Sea islands, the majority of pairs breed on the Frisian mainland.
Compared with similar estimates derived in 2003, strong declines were noted in Lapwing and Oystercatcher (-36%), Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis (-31%) and Black-tailed Godwit (-22%). Increases were found in Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata (+23%), Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago (+33%), Meadow Pipit (+43%), and particularly in Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (+200%) and Gadwall Anas strepera (+218%).
For all species combined, breeding densities in meadow bird reserves (c. 190 pairs/km2 ) were two times as high as in agricultural plots with management agreements for meadow birds, and about three times as high as in conventional farmland. In most meadow bird species, (by far) the largest part of the population nowadays breeds in either reserves or areas with agri-environment schemes. An exception is the Yellow Wagtail in which 60% of all pairs breed on arable land.

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limosa 89.1 2016
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