New waterbird population trends for the Wadden Sea

12 February 2009
- The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat
has published new population trends of 34 waterbird species
that occur in the international Wadden Sea area. The main
outcome of the recently completed assessment is that the
population trends of one third of all counted waterbird
species has decreased in the last 20 years.

Wadden Sea species, that are
showing significant decreasing populations trends are the
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus),
the Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), the Herring Gull
(Larus argentatus) and the Kentish Plover (Charadrius

Fortunately, a third of waterbird
species are also showing increasing population trends, such
as the Sanderling (Calidris alba), the Northern
Pintail (Anas acuta), the Grey Plover (Pluvialis
) and the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea

It is still unclear, whether
the population declines are caused by factors within the
area of the International Wadden Sea or whether other areas
and factors outside this area should also be considered,
for example in breeding areas or along the flyways of these

The new population counts are the result
of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme (TMAP)
that includes the Joint Monitoring of Migratory Birds (JMMB)
programme. The JMMP is conducted by the Common Wadden Sea
Secretariat and is an important internationally coordinated
and long-term monitoring programme, which has taken place
regularly for the past 20 years.

The Wadden Sea is one of the world’s
most important wetlands for migratory waterbirds and covers
an area of over 14.000 square kilometres, which is shared
by The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. The Wadden Sea
provides the single most important staging and moulting
area for waterbirds on the East Atlantic Flyway, as well
as being an important wintering area.

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Last updated on 16 June 2014

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