Monitoring programme: Biodiversity - BirdsProgramme topic: Birds
Updated on 15 June 2016
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.
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 DirectiveBirds Directive
Assessment of: (Q4k)
Scale of data aggregation for assessments: (Q10a)HELCOM assessment unit levels
Detailed information on monitoring frequency and spatial resolution has not yet been collected from all countries but will be added.
countries use counts of nest and/or pairs as the counting method. Sweden
is also monitoring by boat.
The temporal resolution of the monitoring
of breeding birds varies from annually to every third year by most
countries depending on species.
Different spatial scope in different countries.
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.
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.
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
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)
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 (Q5e)
Not possible until longer series exist.
Contact point to national monitoring programmes will be added
Population development of Great CormorantPopulation development of Sandwich TernPopulation development of Southern Dunlin
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.