The Trusts’ radio-tracking study on the life of lapwing chicks features on the new RTÉ television series of ‘The Zoo’

The Trusts’ radio-tracking study on the life of lapwing chicks features on the new RTÉ television series of ‘The Zoo’ this Sunday the 6th May at 6.30 pm.

Tune in and see the Trust working in partnership with Dublin Zoo & the National Parks & Wildlife Service, for the conservation of Ireland’s natural heritage.

 

 

 

http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/the-zoo-2073/10720209

 

 

His Excellency President Michael D Higgins & his wife Sabina visit the Grey Partridge conservation project stand at the National Ploughing Championships.

 It all started in 1995 when as Minister for Arts Heritage & Gaeltacht, Michael D Higgins introduced legislation to legally protect Ireland’s native grey partridge.

21 years later, as President of Ireland he re-visits the NPWS – Irish Grey Partridge Conservation Trust stand.

President-Michael-D-Higgins-visits-the-grey-partridge-stand-at-the-National-Ploughing-Championships

GLAS Grey Partridge to open again in mid-October

The Department of Agriculture have confirmed that the third phase of GLAS will open in mid-October with the expectation that more than 50,000 farmers would be in the deptargilogoscheme from January 1st next.

This will be the last opportunity for farmers and landowners to avail of the grey partridge measure in the forthcoming GLAS Tranche 3. Farmers and landowners who adopt the grey partridge measure will be guaranteed entry into TIER 1.

This measure is straight forward to establish, fits into the existing farm management and guarantees a steady income over the duration of the GLAS.

Farmers can claim up to €7,000 per year. So it also pays very well to implement.

Trust announces the winners of the Children’s Colouring Competition, which was held recently at Dublin Zoo’s Green Fest.

The winners of our Children’s Colouring Competition, which was held recently at Dublin Zoo’s Green Fest have been announced.

For the winners to claim their prize, they can contact info@greypartridge.ie.

The closing date by which they have to claim their prizes is  Monday the 23rd of May 2016.

The winners are:

Winner: Sarah Mc Carthy – Age 6
Second: Kayla Flood – Age 11
Third: Caoilfhionn O Reilly – Age 4

Trust’s lapwing chick survival study features in the Irish Examiner

 

This article appears in the Irish Examiner dated  Friday, April 29, 2016.


The original full article can be read here:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/outdoors/richard-collins/the-survival-rate-of-lapwing-chicks-is-alarmingly-low-394777.html

http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/outdoors/richard-collins/the-survival-rate-of-lapwing-chicks-is-alarmingly-low-394777.html

A farmer, walking his fields at this time of year, might come upon a clutch of four little eggs, their pointed ends arranged neatly together in a scrape on the ground, writes Richard Collins

The survival rate of lapwing chicks is alarmingly low and is a threat to the existence of the species here.

These ‘Easter’ eggs were eaten long ago during the seasonal festivities. Their provider, however, was no supernatural visitor but a familiar countryside bird, known as the ‘pee-wit’ ‘green plover’ or ‘lapwing’.

Lapwing Chick Hiding
Lapwing Chick Hiding

This pigeon-sized green black and white wader calls evocatively as it flaps about on dark rounded wings. A wetland bird with a secret yearning to be a thrush, it stalks insect larvae and worms on farmland. In winter, Irish lapwings are joined by visitors from Britain and mainland Europe. Flocks, tens of thousands strong, were common here but not any more.

The lapwing has fallen on lean times; numbers have declined steadily over the last 40 years. There were 88% fewer breeding pairs in 2008 than there had been in 1993. Kieran Buckley of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), who has been studying lapwings, says that ‘we don’t appreciate how bad things are here’.

Changes in land use and farming practices are blamed for the decline but Kieran fears that the raiding of nests by foxes, rats, stray cats, hooded crows, and magpies is also a factor. Predation, he thinks, could be knocking back any chance of recovery. There’s just not enough habitat, he says, and the little that’s left acts as a magnet for predators.

Two years ago, Kieran and his team began studying the survival of lapwing chicks from nests in a 75ha area of cut-away bog owned by the NPWS at Boora, County Offaly. During the 2014 and 2015 nesting seasons, tiny radio transmitters were fitted to chicks in 41 lapwing broods. The youngsters were, on average, nine days old when ringed. Batteries had a life of about 30 days. Radio signals from the units were picked up on portable receivers using handheld directional aerials.

A unit worn by a chick falling victim to a fox might still transmit after it had passed through the predator’s gut. Each youngster was radio-tracked three or four times per week, revealing the types of terrain it preferred and how far it had moved from the nest. Lapwing chicks normally fledge 35 to 40 days after hatching.

Data from this first phase of the project have now been analysed. The results are revealing. Less than one chick (0.86) fledged per brood. Success rates were similar, irrespective of the terrain in which a nest was located. Some chicks remained close to the nest while others moved considerable distances. Moving did not appear to affect a chick’s survival prospects.

Predation was indeed the major threat to the birds; all but one of the chicks recorded dead had been killed by a predator. Foxes were the main culprits, accounting for 47% of deaths, three adult foxes being responsible for most of the carnage. Predatory birds killed 32% of victims while the identity of the killer could not be determined in 16% of cases. Three-day-old chicks were taken. So were 28-day-old ones.

The overall survival rate of chicks might seem to be disastrously low but, in fact, it’s high enough to compensate for the deaths of adult birds in the population and increase the number of breeding pairs. However, the situation at Boora is not representative of lapwing sites elsewhere.

The lands there are managed for the conservation of grey partridges. With foxes and grey crows being systematically removed, it’s a relatively safe haven for nesting lapwings; 122 broods were recorded during the study period. Only if similar control measures are taken at breeding sites elsewhere in Ireland, can lapwings hope to have a future here.

The research at Boora is supported by Dublin Zoo, Fota Wildlife Park and the NPWS. Kristina Abaruite, Éabhin Byrne, Therese Kelly, Shane Sweeney and Kieran Buckley were members of the research team.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Trust Lapwing chick survival study reveals some interesting results

  • Lapwing Chick Hiding
    Lapwing Chick Hiding

    Large numbers of hatched chicks do not necessarily equate to a large number of fledged young

  • During this study the breeding productivity of lapwings in Boora was sufficient to offset chick mortality and annual adult mortality and hence to grow the population
  • The level of predator control effort required to achieve the desired conservation outcome may vary according to the habitats locally and the dynamics of predator populations at the site level.
  • Over the two-years of this study, 122 broods of lapwing chicks were recorded in the areas managed for the conservation of the grey partridge.
  • The breeding productivity of lapwings at NPWS lands at Boora may be acting as an important source for seeding other breeding lapwing sites in Ireland.

This study was made possible by the generous support of :

Dublin Zoo, Fota Wildlife Park, National Parks & Wildlife Service & Perdix Wildlife Solutions

108 Farmers’ Sign Up For GLAS Grey Partridge Tranche 2

108 farmers’ sign up for GLAS grey partridge Tranche 2 – an economic boost for the farmers and an ecological Boon for other farmland birds.

The latest figures from the Department of Agriculture indicate that 108 farmers have committed to undertake action for the grey partridge on approximately 181 parcels of land. What does this mean – 100,000 m (100km) or 61.3 miles of a 12 meter wide linear edge, containing nesting and brood-rearing and over-winter habitats for the grey partridge will be delivered. This is a significant achievement.

Photo Malcolm Brockless G&WCT
Photo Malcolm Brockless G&WCT

The Trust would like to acknowledge the input and support of the Department of Agriculture Food & Marine, the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Bird Watch Ireland & Michael Marytn. It’s worth remembering that a farmer who enters the grey partridge GLAS scheme can get his/her full €7,000 per year if they commit to and undertake sufficient lengths of Grey Partridge margin.

Tranche 3 of GLAS will be an opportunity to avail of the grey partridge measure

For further information contact

info@greypartridge.ie

Demonstration of GLAS Grey Partridge

To see what it looks like – a demonstration of the GLAS grey partridge measure is on display at the NPWS grey partridge conservation project in Boora, Co. Offaly.

Photo: Michael Marytn
Photo: Michael Marytn