The latest Waterbirds in the UK report for 2012/13, released today by the BTO, highlights a worrying decline in Pintail.
This elegant dabbling duck, that breeds predominantly in northeast Europe and winters in southern and western Europe and in the Sahel, has shown a rapid decline in the UK since the mid 2000s, declining by more than 50% in this period, and by 33% over the past 25 years. This decline is of particular concern as up to half of all the Pintail in northwest Europe rely on the UK’s estuaries and wetlands during winter.
There is evidence that some of the population may be wintering further east, as numbers in the Netherlands have increased slightly over this period, but nevertheless this decline highlights a need to pay closer attention to the status of Pintail in the coming years and in particular ensure that good flyway-wide monitoring through the International Waterbird Census network is maintained.
Other articles in the packed report look at the latest numbers and trends of Pink-footed Geese, Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Golden Plover, Purple Sandpiper and Avocet, as well as articles on climate change and conservation, and the importance of gravel pits for waterbirds.