Saturday, 8 September 2012

Why Black-headed Gulls?

Between the mid-1980s and late-1990s, the number of breeding pairs of Black-headed Gulls in Northern Ireland declined rapidly.  Down from 38,000 pairs to 10,000 pairs, the species is red listed in Ireland and is a priority species in Northern Ireland.

The main objective of this project is to hopefully learn more about the species in Northern Ireland, though:

  • determining dispersal / natal fidelity of juveniles from a colony
  • movements of adults from breeding and wintering grounds and
  • migration movements from GB and/or continental Europe

As well as the conservation issues above, I chose to study Black-headed Gulls because of their association with human activities.  Their tendency to hang around train stations, car parks, playing fields, etc. (I'm making them sound a bit shifty, aren't I?!), should increase the chances of colour-ringed birds being re-sighted.

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