Hiraethog lapwing project
This four-year project aims to reverse the decline of one of Wales' most important upland populations of breeding lapwings and to demonstrate the approaches required to achieve that. Two seasons of breeding monitoring and habitat management undertaken to date.
- Produce a yearly average of at least 0.7 fledged young per pair.
- Halt the decline in breeding pairs in the Project Area
- Demonstrate management options which positively influence the breeding success of lapwing within a clearly defined upland area.
- Demonstrate how agri-environment schemes could be improved or better implemented to conserve breeding lapwing in the wider countryside.
- 2007 breeding survey - 88 pairs, but only 14 fledged young found.
- 2008 breeding survey - 80 pairs fledged 30 young.
- Additional land management undertaken on 12 farms (61 fields) in the winters of 2007/8 and 2008/9 to provide better nesting and chick-rearing habitat, including reduction of potential predator impacts.
- Significant amount of support for the project in many forms, from farmers and a variety of statutory and other organisations.
- Half a square kilometre of rush cutting, carried out by farmers and local contractors, as well as by contracted specialised low-ground-pressure machinery;
- Half a square kilometre of damp grassland received additional autumn cattle grazing to create a more attractive ground surface for nesting birds;
- A further seven small, shallow pools were excavated;
- Across both years, this work took place in 61 fields (totalling about 3.5 square kilometres) on 12 farms. Although it is too soon to say how effective our efforts have been, especially when ‘external' factors are taken into account (eg weather conditions, predation, etc.) early signs are encouraging. None of the above could have taken place without a great deal of co-operation and goodwill from the farmers.