Priority species should be established on a site-specific basis, using the following hierarchy:
- Species listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended);
- Species listed under Schedule 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006;
- Red & Amber listed by the Birds of Conservation Concern (2015).
The following categories should also be considered on a project specific basis:
- Localised or highly specialised species regardless of inclusion above (e.g. crossbill in coniferous woodland);
- Nationally- or locally-declining species regardless of inclusion above (e.g. greenfinch);
- Colonial nests or roost sites containing more than one individual of any species; or,
- Exceptional counts or aggregations of any species.
Schedule 1 species
Specific survey methods for individual Schedule 1 species are beyond the scope of this section of the website.
It is an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb a species, listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981, which is at, on or near an active nest site without a license – any specific surveys for Schedule 1 species should therefore be carried out by specifically licenced individual.
Although most diurnal breeding, Schedule 1 species on, or near to a specific site will be detected during the course of a survey season, others require specific surveys/monitoring to establish presence, these include, but are not limited to, the list below;
- Species for which detectability is low, be that through an aspect of their ecology (e.g. hobby nesting in late summer or nocturnal species), or their nesting habitat (e.g. spotted crake, bittern and bearded tit in reed beds);
- Features or habitats on site where Schedule 1 breeding birds may be found (e.g. little ringed plover on bare ground and standing water);
- Where Schedule 1 species are recorded by a data search which encompasses the wider landscape (minimum 2 km radius).
Where breeding Schedule 1 species, or associated habitats have been identified on or adjacent to the site, additional surveys or specific supplementary techniques should be considered to improve detection of those species (e.g. additional late survey season visits for nesting hobby, or passive acoustic monitoring for booming bittern).