English Seabird Conservation and Recovery Plan - Seabird Sensitivity Evidence Review.

Published online
28 Dec 2022
Published by
Natural England
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Spencer, J. & Coppack, T. & Rogerson, K. & Boyle, L. & Phelps, T.

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Natural England commissioned this report to provide up to date, evidence-based, auditable, and transparent assessments of the sensitivity of a range of seabird and waterfowl species to a range of pressures. These sensitivity assessments would then be used, along with measures of exposure to pressures, to conduct vulnerability assessments for the seabirds and waterfowl in English waters. The results of these vulnerability assessments would be used to inform an English Seabird Conservation and Recovery Plan (ESCaRP). This report documents the development of a suitable method to assess sensitivity and details the final method used. The outputs of this process are the resistance and resilience assessments for 36 species of seabirds and waterfowl against 42 pressures. Each of these combinations was assessed for three spatiotemporal variables: at the colony in the breeding season; away from the colony in the breeding season; and, during the non-breeding season. Each combination was also assessed for two pathways of impact: mortality and displacement. To produce a reproducible output for each assessment, they were carried out against an agreed pressure benchmark, i.e., the intensity at which the pressure was considered to occur during the assessment. The report also summarises the main findings, along with limitations of the current approach, and recommendations for future improvements.

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