Wildlife

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 5th May 2006.

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Photo of Sylvia Jackson Sylvia Jackson Labour

Question S2W-25123

To ask the Scottish Executive what the estimated breeding population is of (a) red-breasted mergansers and (b) goosanders and what information it can provide on how the numbers and distribution of these birds have changed in the last 10 years.

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

The Scottish Executive does not hold this information centrally but is aware of the following;

Red-Breasted Mergansers

The most recent estimate of numbers of breeding red-breasted mergansers are:

561 males (299 to 915, 95% Confidence Limits)

591 redheads (females and immatures) (262-1,019, 95% Confidence Limits).

These estimates are based on counts made in 1987 and 1997 prior to the main breeding period, and are regarded as minimum estimates.

Data from the Wetland Bird Survey indicate that mergansers are widespread throughout Scotland, and that there has been virtually no change overall in the size of the population at key census sites over the last ten years.

Goosanders

The most recent estimate of numbers of breeding goosanders are:

1,422 males (988 to 1,882, 95% Confidence Limits)

2,041 redheads (females and immatures) (1,537-2,589, 95% Confidence Limits).

These estimates are based on counts made in 1987 and 1997. These counts were made during the main breeding period for goosanders.

Data from the Wetland Bird Survey indicate that goosanders are widespread throughout Scotland. There may have been a slight increase in the size of the breeding population, but a slight decrease in the size of the over-wintering population.

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