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Curlew Curlew on drystone wall – Credit: Whitfield Benson

C2 – Priority species

Work with farmers and landowners to achieve and maintain stable or increasing populations for 90% of ‘priority species‘ by 2026, including the UK ‘red-listed’ upland birds — Black Grouse; Curlew; Hen Harrier; Lapwing; Merlin; Skylark; and Yellow Wagtail — for which the National Park is renowned, and those of international importance.

‘Priority species’ are species listed in the Yorkshire Dales Biodiversity Action Plan (2011).

How are we doing on this objective

Progress: The 2021 ‘Trends and Status’ showed 76% of priority species had populations that were either stable or increasing – down from 81% in 2016.

Press Releases & related articles:

16 August 2021 – Kicking to see what’s alive: wildlife surveys carried out

12 April 2021 – Landscape made fit for dormice

30 March 2021 – Nature recovery work ‘accelerating’

Rationale: Of the 59 nationally-important species for which trend data is available, 48 (81%) currently have populations that are stable or increasing.  The importance of the National Park is highlighted by the fact that it holds stable or increasing populations of 4 of the 7 nationally red-listed species named above.

Lead partner:  Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Supporting partners:  Natural England; Forestry Commission; Environment Agency; Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership; People’s Trust for Endangered Species; RSPB;  British Association for Shooting and Conservation;

Further information:  YDNPA -Species

Cost over 5 years:  £500,000 [YDNPA costs.  Excludes agri-environment etc]

Funding shortfall

Related objectives: A1; A8; C1; C5; D1; D2; D3; D7; E4

Ecosystem services:  Biodiversity; Tranquillity; Sense of place and inspiration; Recreation; Pollination


Baseline: 81% of priority species for which data are available are stable or increasing (2016 Trends and Status Report).

‘State of the Park’ indicator – YES