Monitoring programme: Biodiversity - BirdsProgramme topic: Birds
Updated on 15 June 2016
The monitoring of this sub-programme is: partly coordinated
Common monitoring guidelines
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)
Detailed information on monitoring frequency and spatial resolution has not yet been collected from all countries but will be added.
Wintering birds/Population size (abundance)
Ground count based coastal surveys by volunteers, offshore surveys by plane and ship.
The temporal resolution of the monitoring of wintering birds varies greatly among the countries. Data is available from the year 1991.
winter bird census has been organized by
LUOMUS (Finnish Museum of Natural History); the first censuses were done as early as the mid-1950s.
Different spatial scope in different countries.
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.
All Baltic Sea countries are currently monitoring wintering birds and collecting data on species numbers and distribution; however, counting methods, timeframe and type of financing varies greatly among the countries. Ground count based coastal surveys are carried out in all countries and mostly by volunteers.
Offshore surveys by plane and ship are being carried out in all countries, except Russia. Further coordination will be needed between the countries to harmonize monitoring methods and timing.
Monitoring of wintering birds will support the core indicator 'Abundance of waterbirds in the wintering season'.
Offshore monitoring in the winter time lacks coordination and is geographically not representative. Because of the very uneven survey coverage across the Baltic region, assessments of some species, such as long-tailed duck or common scoter are not possible with the current monitoring.
Experts have suggested improvements in offshore monitoring in the Baltic Sea during the winter time. In addition, there is an attempt to evaluate the usefulness of spring migration count data from bird observatories in Gulf of Finland as the estimate of annual abundance changes of the long-tailed duck winter population. There is also a need for revision of the winter population monitoring system, as it can be expected that due to general climate warming, iceless winters in the Northern Baltic will become more frequent in the future. Thus, in order to monitor total Baltic populations, there has to be readiness for spatially larger-scale censuses than nowadays.
Coordination should be enhanced by building a platform for seabird monitoring in the Baltic and agreeing on common guidelines and a metadabase for seabird monitoring. Activities should be coordinated with neighboring countries as much as possible.
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.
Assessment of natural variability (Q5e)
Natural variability is assessed from the long-term data series and scientific studies have assessed the effects of climate change on the seabird winter distribution and abundance
Contact point to national monitoring programmes will be added.
Aunins A., Nilsson L., Hario M., Garthe S., Dagys S., Petersen I.K., Skov H., Lehikoinen A., Mikkola-Roos M., Ranft S., Stipniece A., Luigujoe L., Kuresoo A., Meissner W., Korpinen S. 2013. Abundance of waterbirds in the wintering season. HELCOM Core Indicator of Biodiversity. HELCOM, Helsinki, 25 pp.