Shetland is very important for seabirds and also for waders. Some farmland waders that have declined a lot throughout the rest of Europe, like curlews, lapwing, redshank and snipe are still doing pretty well in Shetland. Some seabirds, in particular kittiwake, Arctic skua and Arctic tern, have declined significantly due to a decline in sandeels.
Ground nesting birds face numerous predators across the isles, including: hedgehogs, stoats, rats, cats, otters, crows, common gulls, Arctic skuas and ravens.
There are a number of unique taxa in Shetland, including a number of different hawkweeds, and Edmondston’s chickweed – a plant that grows nowhere else but Unst. Subspecies of bird unique to the archipelago include Shetland wren, and Shetland starling.
Edited by Chris Bonfiglioli from an interview with Juan Brown of NatureScot.
Photos by NZ Willowherb via Flickr
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