Tag Archives: Species Plan

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Northern Dune Tiger Beetle

Northern Dune Tiger Beetle is extensively found along a 15 kilometre stretch of the Sefton Coast which is estimated to support up to 75% of the species’ British population. It was recorded from 105, separate 100 metre squares, on the Sefton Coast during a 1999 – 2003 survey. The species is almost continuously recorded between Birkdale in the north and Hightown in the south. The most southerly record for the species is from Hall Road Crosby.

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Great Crested Newt

Between 1995 and 1998, the Pond Life Project undertook a survey of 1000 ponds in the Northwest. Of these 500 were north of the Mersey although no sites surveyed were within the boroughs of Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens or Liverpool. The Pond Life survey showed that 25% of ponds in the northern part of the survey area contained Great Crested Newts. Furthermore, in some urban areas (e.g. Wigan) the percentage of occupied ponds was higher.
Great Crested Newt surveys have been carried out on Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006. Evidence of Great Crested Newt occupation was found in 31 ponds and temporary slacks.

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Sand Lizard

There was a very large reduction in the size and distribution of the North Merseyside population during the 20th century – perhaps as much as 80%. The current estimate of the local population is 1,000 adults. These are all located in the Sefton Coast sand dunes and surrounding area and are spread over widely fragmented sites. The Sefton population is considered the rarest of three ‘geographical races’ in Britain. One population within the Sefton coast area appears to be genetically distinct from the others, due to isolation.

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Urban Birds

A small number of species, including House Sparrow, House Martin and Swift, are truly urban in that they breed almost entirely in or on buildings. Starlings are also highly dependent on buildings for nest sites. All these species are believed to be in significant decline but survey difficulties in urban areas have meant that scientific data have been difficult to assemble. However, both House Sparrow and Starling were added to the list of UK BAP Priority Species in 2007 because of their declining populations.

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Song Thrush

Although still common and widespread, the Song Thrush went into dramatic decline in the mid-1970s with an estimated reduction in numbers of 73% in farmland and 49% in woodland between 1968 and 1993. Overall numbers fell by 50% between 1970 and 2005 but more recently have increased by 17% between 1994 and 2006. The decline is believed to have been more marked in the north of the country.

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Skylark

The Sefton Coast between Blundellsands and Cabin Hill NNR supports densities of up to 37 pairs per square km – amongst the highest known in the UK lowlands. Farmland around Rainford also supports above average densities (up to 8 pairs per square km). Smaller, but still notable densities are found in Speke/Garston, Tarbock and farmland between St. Helens and Kirkby. Small populations persist in urban areas including at Otterspool and the Rimrose Valley.