Integrated population monitoring of birds of the Dutch Wadden Sea

The Dutch BirdLife partner (Vogelbescherming Nederland) asked the Dutch Centre for Demography and Migration (Vogeltrekstation) of the Netherlands Institute for Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Sovon Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and WaLTER (Wadden Sea Long Term Ecosystem Research) to determine whether 'integrated population monitoring' is a useful method to monitor and predict developments in Wadden Sea bird populations.

This report states that this method is indeed very suitable for many bird species. Collecting demographic data, in addition to numbers and trends, provides insight into the mechanisms underlying population changes. This research is an important first step in determining the causes behind population changes, while at the same time enabling predictions on population trajectories in the near future. The authors also conclude that some Wadden Sea birds are experiencing problems. Birds which breed in the Wadden Sea area are more often declining than increasing in numbers. Birds using intertidal habitats for foraging initially showed more negative trends than birds feeding in other habitats, but this difference has disappeared during the last decade.

The report (in Dutch) can be downloaded here.


Van der Jeugd H., Ens B.J., Versluijs M., Schekkerman H.