Study

The effects of grass seeding of heathland on habitat use by whimbrel Numenius phaeopus during the pre-egg-laying period on the islands of Fetlar and Unst, Shetland, Scotland

  • Published source details Grant M.C., Chambers R.E. & Evans P.R. (1992) The effects of re-seeding heathland on breeding whimbrel Numenius phaeopus in Shetland. II. Habitat use by adults during the pre-laying period. Journal of Applied Ecology, 29, 509-515

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Employ areas of semi-natural habitat for rough grazing (includes salt marsh, lowland heath, bog, fen)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Plough habitats

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Employ areas of semi-natural habitat for rough grazing (includes salt marsh, lowland heath, bog, fen)

    At the same study sites as (Grant 1992), (Grant et al. 1992a) found that areas of heath seeded with grass after ploughing or harrowing, and older pastures, were the main early spring feeding areas for at least 90% of whimbrel Numenius phaeopus pairs in the study. They monitored habitat use by individually marked whimbrels, during the pre-laying period in spring 1987 and 1988, on five Shetland Island heathlands. The birds made little use of unimproved heathland (where most nest) or heathland areas seeded without ploughing/harrowing. The greatest quantities of prey species - earthworms (Lumbricidae) and larval crane-flies (Tipulidae) - were found in the soil of ploughed/harrowed seeded areas of heath and older pastures, with more recently seeded areas holding the highest masses of crane-fly larvae.

     

  2. Plough habitats

    At the same study sites as Grant (1992), Grant et al. (1992) found that areas of heath seeded with grass after ploughing or harrowing, and older pastures, were the main early spring feeding areas for at least 90% of whimbrel pairs in the study. Habitat use by individually marked whimbrels was monitored during the pre-laying period in spring 1987 and 1988, on five Shetland Island heathlands. The birds made little use of unimproved heathland (where most nest) or heathland areas seeded without ploughing/harrowing. The greatest quantities of prey species (earthworms, oligochaetes, and crane-fly larvae, tipulids) were found in the soil of ploughed or harrowed seeded areas of heath and older pastures, with more recently seeded areas holding the highest masses of crane-fly larvae.

     

Output references

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