A new study by BirdWatch Ireland has found that the number of waterbirds wintering in Ireland has declined by 15% over the past five years. More alarming is the comparison over a longer time period, which shows that our wintering waterbirds have declined by almost 500,000 individuals (40%) since the mid-1990’s, a truly shocking finding.
Wading bird species, including Knot, Dunlin, Golden Plover and Redshank, have been the worst hit, suffering a combined loss of over 100,000 individuals (19%) over the past five years. Wildfowl, including 14 species of duck, 3 species of swan and 4 species of geese, declined by 28,000 individuals (9%). In total, 27 species declined by over 10% over the course of just 5 years, with only seven species managing to increase by more than 10%.