by Judit Szabo, Science Officer
Knowledge about the status and trends of animal populations is very important not only for timely and appropriate management actions but also to influence relevant policy. For migratory species it may be difficult to obtain reliable global population estimates from simply counting individuals at one place at one time – it is often necessary to undertake coordinated monitoring at sites along the flyway in different countries.
The mudflats of the Wadden Sea represent a very important breeding, moulting, staging and wintering site for migratory waterbird populations in the East Atlantic Flyway. As in other flyways, many of these bird populations are in decline.
This recently published report provides a valuable framework and programme outline for integrated monitoring of waterbird populations along the flyway. The suggested monitoring scheme will provide an early warning system for populations in need of conservation action. It will enable researchers to pinpoint sites, periods of the yearly cycle and likely drivers responsible for the deteriorating conservation status of the populations and it will make evaluation of the effectiveness of policy and management measures taken possible. It will also expand and improve the integration, availability and communication of the results to different stakeholders needing this information for management and policy.
van Roomen M., Delany S. & Schekkerman H. 2013. Integrated monitoring of coastal waterbird populations along the East Atlantic Flyway. Framework and programme outline for Wadden Sea and other populations. Programme Rich Wadden Sea, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands and Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
Download at: http://www.rijkewaddenzee.nl/assets/pdf/dossiers/natuur-en-landschap/Framework%20Integrated%20Monitoring.pdf
Related news: http://www.birdlife.org/europe-and-central-asia/news/wadden-sea-danger-says-first-ever-migration-report-whole-east-atlantic-flyway