Breeding Waders European Innovation Partnership

The Breeding Waders EIP project aims to secure existing Breeding Wader populations and support population recovery through research, landscape management and policy development.

This EIP-Agri project is a €25 million nationwide programme, co-funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Co-ordinated by Irish Rural Link, the team at ATU and UCD will conduct research to inform and assess project actions and policy recommendations.

The team at ATU includes two PhD students, a Post Doctoral Scientist and four academic staff.

Expected Results and Practical Recommendations

The project aims to combine the design, development, and trail of an innovative suite of measures, with known actions that benefit Breeding Waders. This combination will seek to;

  • Halt the decline in the Irish Breeding Wader population
  • Improve awareness of Breeding Waders and associated downward pressures
  • Drive population recovery on a National level
  • Increase capacity in the Predation Risk Management sector
  • Inform policy and increase awareness of the needs of Breeding Waders among policy makers
  • Implement positive Breeding Wader actions on non-commercially farmed land

The project will train and recruit up to 650 farmers, who farm land in Breeding Wader hotspots, known as Wader Action Zones. Participant farmers will be trained in the operation of the programme to raise awareness of the project objectives and ensure a clear understanding of the required actions. Similarly, engagement with the wider farming community and the general public will be undertaken to raise awareness of the learning’s of the project.

We foresee that the learning’s from the project will help develop approaches towards addressing the needs of Breeding Waders in the next CAP.

This project is strategically designed to ensure that learnings and results from the project will be disseminated broadly. Project management will actively seek to participate in relevant EU CAP Network thematic groups and fora to share the project’s best practice and identify knowledge exchange opportunities from other projects.

Species Specific Population Targets and milestones

Species Current Population  (Breeding Pairs) 3 Year Aim (Breeding Pairs) 5 Year Aim (Breeding Pairs)
Lapwing 800 800 900
Redshank 180 200 220
Curlew 120 115 125
Dunlin 30 30 35
Golden Plover 150 150 165
Snipe 3,500 Identify population size +5% by year 5
Oystercatcher 750-1000 Survey for baseline data Develop Species Specific Management
Ringed Plover 1000 Survey for baseline data Develop Species Specific Management
Common Sandpiper 1500 Survey for baseline data Develop Species Specific Management

Project Team

Lecturer and Researcher in Agro-ecology
Allan McDevitt
Head of Dept Natural Resources and the Environment