Breeding waders on cutaway peatlands in County Offaly

Alex S. Copland, Jan Bayliss, Eileen Power and Kathryn Finney

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peatland After-Use


Copland et al. 2008: Breeding waders on cutaway peatlands in County Offaly


A survey of six wader species (Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Curlew Numenius arquata, Redshank Tringa totanus, Snipe Gallinago gallinago, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula and Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos) breeding on 12 cutaway bog sites was undertaken in 2006. A comparison with two previous surveys of these areas in 1998 and 2002 was made. A total of 138 breeding wader pairs were recorded in 2006: an increase since 2002 (115 pairs), but a decrease since 1998 (155 pairs). Lapwing and Ringed Plover have increased since 2002, but decreased since 1998; Redshank have decreased overall since 1998; Snipe have increased overall since 1998; Common Sandpiper have increased since 2002, and are at the same number as in 1998. No Curlew were recorded in any of the surveys. These naturally regenerating cutaway bog areas are a valuable conservation resource for breeding waders, and future management of these areas should take this into consideration.