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Waterbird Populations and Pressures in the Baltic Sea

image of Waterbird Populations and Pressures in the Baltic Sea

This report outlines the results of the internationally coordinated census of wintering waterbirds in the Baltic Sea 2007-2009 undertaken under the SOWBAS project (Status of wintering Waterbird populations in the Baltic Sea). The estimated total number of wintering waterbirds was 4.41 million compared to 7.44 million during the last co-ordinated census 1992-1993. Despite the general declines stable or increasing populations of herbivorous species were recorded. While benthic carnivores with a coastal distribution have either shown moderate declines, stable or increasing populations seaducks with an offshore distribution have declined seriously. Based on analyses of trends in wintering waterbirds and pressures indicators are suggested as performance indicators in relation to the international and national actions taken to reduce the anthropogenic pressures in the Baltic Sea.

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The present atlas includes the entire ice-free areas of the Baltic Sea during the winters of 2007, 2008 and 2009, and is bounded by the coastlines of Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia (Kaliningrad), Poland, Germany and Denmark (Map 1). It includes all coastal, territorial and EEZ waters, as well as all bays and semi-enclosed brackish-water lagoons and fjords along the Baltic coasts. Limfjorden (Denmark) is not included in the present atlas.

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