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Ornithology of the Solent
Burges, D. (2000). Ornithology of the Solent, in: Collins, M. et al. (Ed.) Solent science: a review. Proceedings in Marine Science, 1: pp. 261-270
In: Collins, M.; Ansell, K. (Ed.) (2000). Solent science: a review. Proceedings in Marine Science, 1. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-50465-6. 385 pp., more
In: Proceedings in Marine Science. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 1568-2692, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Burges, D.

    The above presents only a short synopsis of the conservation importance of the Solent for birds, and some of the key issues affecting it. Nevertheless a number of key points emerge, these are summarised below. 1.The ornithological importance of the Solent is acknowledged and described under accepted criteria. The individual harbours and/or estuary complexes are internationally important for their bird populations; taken together they constitute one of the top five sites in the UK. 2.This status is founded on many years of detailed bird counts, which continue today under the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) programme of high and low tide counts. 3. Recent bird ringing and marking work on bird movements is beginning to provide a better understanding of how the birds actually use these sites; and more work is needed on the ecology of waterfowl at the sub- and inter-site levels. 4. The habitats used by the birds are threatened generally by sea level rise. Consequently, a proactive approach to habitat creation is needed urgently if the integrity, structure, and function of these intertidal and behind-the-sea wall habitats are to be maintained. 4. This relates to the need for a better integration of land use planning policy and practice, at national and local levels, to ensure that our international obligations under the Habitats Directive are met. 5. Finding solutions to the issues raised above requires a multi-disciplinary approach; this is already in progress on some topics. Nevertheless, a more proactive approach to habitat creation (in particular) is needed urgently. The common ground established at the Solent Science Conference will hopefully provide the necessary starting point.

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