The North York Moors National Park Authority’s latest census has revealed that three out of four species of wading birds across moorland areas of the National Park have declined slightly since the last survey in 2014.
The Authority’s fifth study since 1996 on the moorland breeding populations of waders, including golden plover, Eurasian curlew, northern lapwing and common snipe, has raised concern among Authority staff who will now consider the results as part of the new North York Moors National Park Management Plan.
This is a process that the Authority takes every five years by setting out what priorities and actions need to be taken by the Authority and others with a stake in the future of the North York Moors.
Speaking on the results of the 2019 census, Elspeth Ingleby, Ecologist for the Authority, said: “Whilst golden plover numbers are shown to have declined since a peak in 2014, the population remains higher than found in earlier surveys. In contrast however, curlew and lapwing have both shown a gradual but statistically significant decline since peaking in 2000. This is concerning, although snipe numbers have seen an apparent slight increase.”