Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


The monitoring of birds covers seabirds in the Baltic, including the abundance and distribution of breeding and wintering birds and marine bird health.

At present monitoring of birds is partly coordinated in HELCOM and the information presented in the Monitoring Manual is based on national monitoring programmes.

Sub-programme: Marine breeding birds abundance and distribution

All Baltic countries except Russia have reported to survey breeding birds. Some of the reported monitoring efforts are species specific and often restricted to particular sites or protected areas. 

Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Estonia have state financed monitoring programmes in place. In Finland monitoring of breeding birds is mainly carried out by volunteers and to some extent also in Germany. In Latvia the only coastal breeding bird surveys have been carried out on a project basis.

HELCOM core indicator linked to the sub-programme is ‘Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season‘.

Sub-programme: Marine wintering birds abundance and distribution

All Baltic Sea countries are monitoring marine wintering birds. Counting methods, timing and type of financing varies greatly among the countries.

Ground-based counts in coastal areas are done in all countries. Most countries run coastal counts as volunteer programmes. Offshore surveys have been reported for all countries except Russia.

HELCOM core indicator linked to the sub-programme is ‘Abundance of waterbirds in the wintering season‘.

Sub-programme: Marine bird health

Marine bird health monitoring is only reported for the white-tailed eagle.

HELCOM core indicator linked to the sub-programme is ‘White-tailed eagle productivity‘.


State and Conservation

Contact information: HELCOM Secretariat