Birds in the Wadden Sea

Trends of Breeding Birds in the Wadden Sea 1991-2013

WADDEN SEA ECOSYSTEM No. 35. Progress Report.

Photo: Klaus Jahnke

The progress report shows trends in the mean annual population size and trends in the Wadden Sea and the four regions Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and the Netherlands. For the first time, trends in the numbers of breeding birds in seven regions of the Wadden Sea were also calculated. Together with the trends status of species in different breeding habitats and of species differing in food choice, fact sheets of 26 breeding bird species and an overview on the status of seven rare species, this progress report gives the most comprehensive overview on breeding birds in the international Wadden Sea.

Trend 21 years 10 years
strong increase 5 1
moderate increase 2 3
stable 2 3
moderate decrease 15 11
strong decrease 0 1
uncertain 2 7
data do not allow trend analysis 0 0

Long- and short term trends in numbers of breeding bird species in the Wadden Sea

The report contains:

  • Overview of methods
  • Mean annual population changes in the last 21 years
  • Overview of regional and trilateral trends (21-year and 10-year trends)
  • Trends in seven regions of the Wadden Sea
  • Trend status with regard to breeding habitats and food choice
  • Fact sheets for 26 breeding bird species
  • Total counts of seven rare species
  • References, maps and information on census areas

[ report]

25 years - Joint monitoring of migratory birds in the Wadden Sea
Trend of Migratory and Wintering Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987/1988 - 2011/2012
WADDEN SEA ECOSYSTEM No. 34. Progress Report.

Photo: Gerold Lüerßen

The report contains:

  • Trend overviews for 34 migratory bird species and 10 sub-species - The whole 25 and last 10 years time period.
  • Changes over 25 years
  • Changes over recent 10 years
  • Proportion of Flyway Population (2002/2003-2011/2012)
  • Combined trends according to food guilds, feeding habitat, breeding range and wintering range
  • Accounts with Wadden Sea and regional trends for 34 migratory bird species and 10 sub-species

[ report]

Please download press release as English or German version.


Trends of Migratory and Wintering Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987/1988 - 2010/2011.

WADDEN SEA ECOSYSTEM No. 30 - 2010. Progress Report.

Photo: Barend van Gemerden

The Joint Monitoring of Migratory Birds (JMMB) Group presents 24- and 10-year trends on 34 migratory bird species based on trilateral count data until 2010/2011. Trends are shown for the international Wadden Sea, The Netherlands, Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark. For the first time summary trends according to the indicators food, feeding habitats, breeding and wintering range were calculated. [ more]

Moulting Shelduck in the Wadden Sea 2010-2012

Photo: Norbert Kempf

Moulting Shelduck in the Wadden Sea 2010-2012

In the past almost all the West European Shelducks moult in the German part of the Wadden Sea, where they have been systematically counted and reached up to 200,000 birds since the late 1980s. In the last years about a quarter of the moulting Shelducks in the Wadden Sea shifted from the German to the Dutch part of the Wadden Sea for yet unknown reasons. In order to conduct a systematic monitoring of the Shelduck, which is a Natura 2000 species, in addition to German counts the presented study recommends trilaterally harmonized counts also in the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands and Denmark, if possible, combined with summer counts of (moulting) Eider. [ more]

Report: Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987-2008

The special issue of the Wadden Sea Ecosystems No.30 on Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987-2008 provides information and data of the migratory birds in the Wadden Sea, including the species phenology, geographical distribution and numbers. In the report these aspects are also analysed in relation to climate and regional aspects:

The Wadden Sea along the west coast of Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands holds the largest coherent tidal flat in the world. The size including the offshore area (to 15 m depth) is roughly 14.700 km2 , of which the intertidal flats make up a third of the area and the saltmarshes about 3 %. Due to nutrition inflow from the North Sea and the rivers, the Wadden Sea habitats provide a rich food source for birds all year around.

The Wadden Sea is the single most important staging, moulting and wintering area for waterbirds on the East Atlantic flyway. According to the 1% criterion of the Ramsar Convention, the Wadden Sea is of outstanding international importance as a staging, moulting and wintering area for at least 52 populations of 41 migratory waterbirds species that use the East Atlantic Flyway and originate from breeding populations from a large part of the northern hemisphere, from Canada/Greenland in the west, across Scandinavia to Siberia in the east. [ more]

Trends online as HTML:
Breeding Birds until 2008
Migratory Birds until 2009/2010