Figure 1 Widespread breeding bird indicator for Wales: short-term abundance change in woodland bird numbers 1994–2006.
Figure 2 Widespread breeding bird indicator for Wales: long-term range change in woodland birds between 1968–72 and 1988–91.
Woodland management for birds: Birds and woodlands in Wales
fluctuating widely over the last three years and increases of some species balanced by the declines of others. However, over the longer term, the ranges of almost a third of woodland birds have declined (Figure 2).
Although the BBS and the Wild Bird Indicator are useful in measuring trends in widespread species, they do not represent a complete picture of bird population trends; scarce species or those with restricted distributions, often those that are of most concern, are not included.
Population size, trends and range for these species can only be measured by the RWBS and with species-specific surveys and studies.
What are the priority woodland bird species in Wales?
An essential part in the production of this guide was the identification of those woodland bird species that require urgent action to conserve their status in Wales. The starting point was to use the list of woodland birds from the Gibbons et al. (1993). The recent updating of the list of Principal Biodiversity Species under Section 42 of the NERC Act combined with an assessment of conservation and legal status, and the degree to which specific habitat management is required to provide suitable habitat, has been used to produce the list of priority species (see Table 1). In particular woods, ie those designated as Special Protection Area (SPA) or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), other species or the assemblage of species will need to be considered as priorities (see Table 1).