This core indicator evaluates the status of the bird species breeding in the Baltic Sea area by assessing fluctuations in abundance. As a rule, Good Environmental Status (GES) is achieved when the abundance of 75% of the considered bird species does not decline by more than 30% compared to a baseline period (1991-2000).
Key message figure 1: Status assessment results based evaluation on the indicator
'abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season'. The assessment is carried out using Scale 1 HELCOM assessment units
(defined in the HELCOM Monitoring and Assessment Strategy Annex 4). Click to enlarge.
The indicator is applicable for the entire Baltic, however, owing to on-going construction on national databases, data availability is currently too low to conduct an evaluation of the abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season. Currently, the indicator is to be evaluated on the scale of the entire Baltic Sea area, however it appears to be possible to carry out evaluations on a finer spatial scale in the future, e.g. on the level of sub-basins.
Once the data becomes available to carry out the
evaluation, the confidence of the indicator evaluation is expected to be
moderate to high as breeding bird monitoring has been running for
several decades in many parts of the Baltic.
The indicator is applicable in the waters of all the countries bordering the Baltic Sea.
Waterbirds are an integral part of the Baltic marine ecosystem. They are important predators, often at a high level in the marine food web. The indicator follows temporal change in the abundance of key waterbird species, which responds to numerous pressures, many of them owing to human activities. Thus, the indicator gives a more general view on the state of marine birds in the Baltic Sea and reflects the cumulative impact of pressures.
Viable populations of species
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
1.2 Population size (abundance, biomass)
Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals
1.1 Species distribution (range, pattern, covered area)
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups and species
Other relevant legislation: EU Birds Directive (migrating species Article 4 (2); Avocet, Mediterranean Gull, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern listed in Annex I); Birds Directive Article 12 report, parameter "Population trend"; Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).