Prickly Problems for Waders

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Hawkeye

Eyes and Ears Everywhere
Feb 7, 2017
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32
#1
Graham Appleton's piece on his blog "Wadertales" back in 2016 summarises the results of the most recent surveys to be carried out in relation to hedgehogs and waders. A timely reminder in this, National Hedgehog Awareness Week

"The chain of Hebridean islands from the northern tip of North Uist to the southern tip of South Uist are special places to visit in the summer. Nowhere else in the UK will you find higher concentrations of breeding waders. In 1983, Fuller et al. estimated that this region held a third of the UK’s breeding Dunlin and a quarter of its Ringed Plover

The islands are still special but, as a consequence of the spread of hedgehogs, following the introduction of just four individuals in 1974, numbers of breeding birds have dropped dramatically. The addition of this extra predator, which can feed by day and night and possesses a coat of spines that can withstand aerial attacks by parent birds, has long been associated with the decline. But how much of the blame lies with the hedgehog and what can be done to support wader populations?"

Read the full article here