Monitoring programme: Biodiversity - Birds
Programme topic: ​Birds

Sub-programme: MARINE BREEDING BIRDS ABUNDANCE AND DISTRIBUTION

Updated on 15 June 2016
 

​table of contentS

Regional coordination

Purpose of monitoring

Monitoring concepts table

Assessment requirements

Data providers and access

References


 

Regional Coordination 

The monitoring of this sub-programme is: partly coordinated.

  • Common monitoring guidelines: missing.

  • Common quality assurance programme: missing. National QA/QC exist.

  • Common database: under development.


Purpose of monitoring (q4K

Follow up of progress towards:

Baltic Sea Action Plan​ (BSAP)​ ​ ​​Segments​Biodiversity
​Ecological objectives​​Natural distribution and occurence of plants and animals
Marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) ​ ​​Descriptors​​D1 Biodiversity
D4 Food webs
D6 Seabed habitats
​Criteria (Q5a)
​1.1 Species distribution
1.2 Population size
1.3 Population condition
4.1 Productivity (production per unit biomass) of key species or trophic groups
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups/species
6.2  Condition of benthic community
​Features (Q5c)

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)

​Habitats Directive
Birds Directive



 

Assessment of: (Q4k)

 

State/Impacts

x

x

​temporal trends

spatial distribution

Pressures
Human activities
causing the pressures
Effectiveness of measures

Scale of data aggregation for assessments: (Q10a)HELCOM assessment unit levels

 

1 - Baltic Sea
​2 - Subbasins
3 - Subbasins with coastal and offshore division​x
4 - Subbasins with coastal WFD division

 

Monitoring concepts table 

CoordinationElements
Q9a (Q5c)
Parameter
Q9a (Q5c)
Method
Q9c, Q9d
QA/QC
Q9e, 9f
Frequency
Q9h, 9i
Spatial resolution
Q9g, 9i
Link to HELCOM core indicatorsLink to
MSFD GES characteristics

Q5b 
Spatial scope
Q4i
Monitoring started
Q4h
CPs monitoring
​​National​White-tailed eagle​​Population size (abundance)​Population abundance and offspringNationalYearlyIdentified territoriesWhite-tailed eagle productivity1.2.1 Population abundance and/or biomass​Coastal Waters​1972​FI, DE, PL, DK, RU, EE
​National​Barnacle goose​Population size (abundance)​Population abundance and offspringNationalYearly​Selected coastal areasAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season1.2.1 Population abundance and/or biomass​Territorial Waters​1989​FI
NationalBreeding population
census
Population size (abundance)Nest counts. of breeding birdsNational
Every 3 yearsTotal of c. 2000 islands in the outer/central archipelago. 43 areas/ units of 3-233 islets (coastal bays, mainland shores not included).Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1 Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
1984FI
NationalCaspian tern monitoringPopulation size (abundance)Nest counts. Visiting all known sites and finding new ones.National
Yearly100Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
1984FI
NationalCormorant breeding sitesPopulation size (abundance)Ground-basedNational
YearlyAll colonies (FI)
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
DK: 1938
FI: 2005
DK, FI
NationalArctic Tern breeding sitesPopulation size (abundance)Ground-basedNational
Every 6 years
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2000 DK
NationalSandwich Tern breeding sitesPopulation size (abundance)Ground-basedNational
Every 3 years
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2000 DK
NationalBlacktern
breeding sites
Population size (abundance)Ground-basedNational
Yearly
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2000 DK
NationalCommon EiderPopulation size (abundance)
National
Every 10 years
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2000
 DK
NationalGuillemot/
Razorbill
Population size (abundance).National
Yearly.Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
From 60's but not always with public monitoring programme
 DK
NationalGreat CormorantPopulation size (abundance)NestsNational
YearlySee page 47 of Estonian marine monitoring program (In Estonian)
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
1983 EE
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)Pairs and nestsNational
Yearly (or every 3, 5, 6 or 10 years)Nature reserves, Moonsund islets in Matsalu Nature reserve, Islets in Vilsandi Nature reserve, Hiiumaa islets, Kolga islets. See page 46 of Estonian marine monitoring program (In Estonian)
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
1957 EE
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)Pairs and nestsNational
YearlyMecklenburg-Western PomeraniaAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
1970 DE
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)Pairs and nestsNational
Every 6 yearsSchleswig-Holstein SPAAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2000  DE
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)Pairs and nestsNational
YearlySchleswig-Holstein Nature reservesAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
.Territorial Waters1984  DE
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)Pairs and nestsNational

one-off, ca 2/3 of the coastAbundanceof waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2011LV
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)
National
Every 2 yearscoastline, Nemunas river delta, Curonian spit national park areaAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2007 LT
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)NestsNational
YearlyAlmost whole coastlineAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2010
 PL
NationalBreeding birdsPopulation size (abundance)Nests, Pairs, Males, by boatNational
Yearly Bothnian Bay coastAbundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
1.2.1
Population abundance and/or biomass
Territorial Waters
2010SE


Brief description of monitoring

Detailed information on monitoring frequency and spatial resolution has not yet been collected from all countries but will be added.


​Element / parameter
Breeding birds/Population size (abundance)
​Method

​Most countries use counts of nest and/or pairs as the counting method. Sweden is also monitoring by boat.

QA/QCNational
Frequency

The temporal resolution of the monitoring of breeding birds varies from annually to every third year by most countries depending on species.

Spatial Scope

Different spatial scope in different countries.

Spatial resolutionSpatial resolution depends on species distribution and varies from counting of all occurrences to selected breeding areas.


 

assessmenT REQUIREMENTS

Monitoring requirements and gaps

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.

Monitoring requirements

​Waterbirds are a special part of the Baltic ecosystem, spending most of their time above the surface and breeding on land. Nevertheless, their role in the marine trophic web as herbivores, benthivores, piscivores or scavengers is significant.

Monitoring of marine breeding birds is needed to support the HELCOM core indicator 'Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season'. The indicator consists of six species (Common Eider, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, Razorbill, Common Guillemot and Great Cormorant), four of which have increased significantly during the past 20 years. The core indicator is based on two parameters: abundance and breeding success. The abundance parameter follows the OSPAR EcoQO1 procedure for the status of seabirds in the North Sea (ICES 2008, 2011), whereas the breeding success parameter will be developed separately for each bird species.

Currently monitoring is done nationally in all Baltic countries besides Russia, but the number of breeding marine bird species (i.e. number of species to be monitored) differs between the countries. Countries with suitable cliffs for nesting colonies or many islets such as Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia have far more breeding species than the countries with mostly sandy beaches like Latvia or Lithuania, Poland and Germany. Some monitoring efforts are species specific and often restricted to particular sites or protected areas.

Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Estonia have state financed monitoring programmes in place, while monitoring is mainly carried out by volunteers in Finland and to some extent also in Germany. In Latvia the only coastal breeding bird surveys have been carried out on a project basis.

To support the core indicator, the six species should be monitored by all Baltic countries (where ecologically relevant), and monitoring methods and temporal resolution should be harmonized.

​Gaps

​​For breeding birds, only Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania have reported monitoring that covers the entire or almost entire coastal area for selected species. In Finland the monitoring of Great cormorant, Caspian tern and White-tailed eagle covers the whole marine area. For the rest of the countries monitoring efforts are concentrated to particular areas.

It is important to ensure that monitoring is representative for the whole population of each marine bird species (especially the six species for the core indicator) breeding in the particular country. Since there are many species with very uneven distributions, often separate programmes are required as their distribution, habitat preferences and timing or methods used for counting are not compatible. Currently monitoring of breeding birds is lacking coordination, guidelines and a joint database.


 
Adequacy for assessment of GES (Q5d)

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.

​Adequate data?​
Yes
Established methods for assessment?
Yes nationally, under development regionally
​Adequate understanding of GES?
Partially
Adequate capacity to perform assessments?
Nationally


 
Assessment of natural variability (Q5e)

​Not possible until longer series exist.


 

Data providers and access

​Data access point
BALSAM database and platform (in the future)
Data type (Q10c)
Processed Data sets​
Data availability (Q10c)​
Joint ICES database, national databases
​Data access (Q10c)
Access by request
​INSPIRE standard (Q10c)
​Species distribution
When will data become available? (Q10c)
Maybe in 2015 but still unclear
Data update frequency (Q10c)
Every 6 years
Describe how the data and information from the programme will be made accessible to the EC/EEA

By request

​​Contact points in the Contracting parties

Contact point to national monitoring programmes will be added

​Has the data been used in HELCOM assessments?
​Yes, e.g. BSEP116B Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea
Data is used in the following Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheets (BSEF)

Population development of Great Cormorant
Population development of Sandwich Tern
Population development of Southern Dunlin


 

REFERENCES

Herrmann C., Rintala J., Lehikoinen A, Petersen I.K., Hario M., Kadin M. and Korpinen K. 2013. Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding
season. HELCOM Core Indicator of Biodiversity. HELCOM, Helsinki, 21 pp.