Monitoring programme: Biodiversity - BirdsProgramme topic: Birds
Updated on 15 June 2016
The monitoring of this sub-programme is: not coordinated.
Common monitoring guidelines: missing.
Common quality assurance programme: missing. National QA/QC exist.
Common database: missing.
Healthy wildlifeViable populations of speciesNo illegal pollution
Biological features:A description of the population dynamics, natural and actual range and status of species of seabirds occurring in the marine region or subregion.
Other relevant legislation (Q8a)
Water Framework Directive/Chemical quality
Detailed information on monitoring frequency and spatial resolution has not yet been collected from all countries but will be added.
White-tailed eagles are resident and faithful to their territories throughout their lifetime. These features provide good opportunities for long-term monitoring of populations and breeding performance. Nest sites are checked annually for occupancy and the reproductive output is recorded for each occupied territory. Based on the frequency distribution in the population of occupied nests containing 0, 1, 2 or 3 nestlings, three reproductive parameters are assessed: the proportion of reproducing pairs in the population (Breeding success), the mean number of nestlings per successfully breeding pair (Nestling brood size) and the the mean number of nestlings per checked pair in the population (Productivity).
Based on data from nests inspected by climbing the nest tree, and excluding nests checked only from the ground, nestling brood size is a precise standard. Nest trees are climbed for precise assessment of reproductive parameters. Some samples are taken from the ground. In connection with these nest visits, measurements and biological samples are taken. The following parameters are usually measured from the nestlings: wing chord (for estimation of age in days), tarsus width and depth (for estimation of sex, see Helander 1981, Helander et al.2007), weight (for nutritional status) and in some areas feather and blood samples (for chemical analyses and genetic studies). The nestlings are ringed using an international colour ringing programme for identification, according to Helander (2003b). Dead eggs and shell pieces are collected for measurements, investigation of contents and chemical analyses, for studies on relationships with reproduction. Feathers shed from adults are generally collected. All samples collected in Sweden are archived in the National Specimen Data Bank.
Eagles presently breed along the coasts and mainland shores of the whole Baltic Sea, and are monitored in a network of national projects with harmonized methodology. Monitoring is made for the entire population. There are sub-regions with small subpopulations: the Gulf of Finland, and especially the Kattegat where the species was brought to extinction in the 1800s but where resettlement is now in progress.
Monitoring is to be carried out to fulfill assessment requirements of HELCOM ecological objectives that are specified through HELCOM core indicators.
The requirements on monitoring can include number of stations, the sampling frequency and replication.
White-tailed sea eagle reproductive ability is monitored annually by assessing the frequency distribution of occupied eagle nests containing 0, 1, 2 or 3 nestlings (3 being the maximum in this species). These data are used for the assessment of the three indicators of reproductive ability: breeding success, nestling brood size and productivity. Survey techniques and sampling methods are presented in (Helander 1994b, Helander et al. 2007, 2009). For assessment of nutritional condition of nestlings, weight and winglength (for age) is required.
The core indicator 'Productivity of white-tailed eagle' describes not only biomagnification of contaminants, but also persecution, disturbance of nest sites, food availability and availability of suitable nesting sites. This indicator combines the breeding success and brood size into a single indicator and assesses the reproductive output of the population. It is a useful indicator in studies on relationships between reproduction and anthropogenic pressures and also a vital parameter in assessments of population status in management perspectives. Most Baltic Sea countries are monitoring white-tailed eagle and for assessment purposes monitoring should be done in all areas along the Baltic coast where the species occurs in adequate minumum abundance. In order to include white-tailed eagles that forage specifically in the coastal ecosystem zone and marine area, only breeding pairs in the coastal area should be considered (tentative boundary up to a maximum of 10 km inland from the coastal mean water line, in accordance with the guidelines of EC Nature 2-5, 1993).
Other bird species are currently not being monitored for marine bird health.
Adequacy for assessment of GES
Monitoring should provide adequate data and information to enable the periodic assessment of environmental status, and distance from and progress towards GES as required by MSFD under Article 9 and 11.
Assessment of natural variability
Quantitative. Natural variability in reproductive output is very small for this species.
National data centres
Contact point to national monitoring programmes will be added.
Population development of White-tailed eagle
Core indicator Productivity of white-tailed eagle