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The Firth of Forth is known to support large numbers of inshore waterbirds, particularly over the winter period. Some intertidal areas and islands within the Firth of Forth are already classified as Special Protection Areas (SPAs). The existing SPAs currently afford protection to some species, but these areas do not extend beyond the low water mark. This report describes analyses of data from aerial and boat-based surveys of inshore waterbirds outside the breeding season in the Firth of Forth. These were conducted between 1998 and 2005, mostly in order to determine if the area or part of it might qualify through stage 1 of the UK Site Selection Guidelines (Stroud et al., 2001) as an SPA under the EU Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).
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