Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Red List of Birds

Two different evaluations were made in the assessment of threatened Baltic Sea birds: bird populations dependent on the HELCOM marine area during their breeding or wintering times were assessed separately.

Breeding Birds

In the assessment of breeding populations, a total of 58 species or subspecies of birds have been analysed. Out of those, 23 were red-listed.

One species, the gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), has been a regular breeding bird in the past but is considered Regionally Extinct (RE) today. The category Critically Endangered (CR) also comprises one species, the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), which has formerly been a regular breeder in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, but after 2000 has only bred with single pairs in Sweden and Germany (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).

The category Endangered (EN) comprises four species (the southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii, the Terek sandpiper Xenus cinereus, the Mediterranean gull Larus melanocephalus and the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla).  Eight species or subspecies were classified as Vulnerable (VU) and nine as Near Threatened (NT).

Wintering Birds

For the wintering populations of the Baltic Sea birds, a total of 47 species, subspecies, or populations were included in the assessment. Out of those, 16 were red-listed.

Two species, the red-throated diver (Gavia stellata) and the black-throated diver (Gavia arctica), have dramatically decreased as wintering birds in the Baltic Sea and were classified as Critically Endangered (CR). The category Endangered (EN) comprises seven species, including five sea duck species. Three taxa classify for the category Vulnerable (VU) and four for the category Near Threatened (NT). 

In all 47 wintering species were evaluated, 12 were regarded Not Applicable due to their insignificant proportion of the overall wintering population, and four were left unevaluated due to the lack of data. 

Please note:  In the Species Information Sheet breeding and wintering populations of Melanitta fusca, Rissa tridactyla, Somateria mollissima, Cepphus grylle andPodiceps auritius have been assessed separately. Cepphus grylle has also been assessed on a sub species level. For these species, the different threat categories and criteria can be seen in the listing below.

Species Information Sheets

Species nameThreat categoryThreat Criteria
HELCOM Red List Gelochelidon niloticaGelochelidon niloticaRegionally Extinct (RE)
HELCOM Red List Gavia arctica (wintering population)Gavia arctica (wintering population)Critically Endangered (CR)A2b
HELCOM Red List Gavia stellata (wintering population)Gavia stellata (wintering population)Critically Endangered (CR)A2b
HELCOM Red List Charadrius alexandrinusCharadrius alexandrinusCritically Endangered (CR)D1
HELCOM Red List Anser fabalis fabalis (wintering population)Anser fabalis fabalis (wintering population)Endangered (EN)A2b
HELCOM Red List Calidris alpina schinziiCalidris alpina schinziiEndangered (EN)A2ace, C1
HELCOM Red List Clangula hyemalisClangula hyemalis (wintering population)Endangered (EN)A2b
HELCOM Red List Larus melanocephalusLarus melanocephalusEndangered (EN)D1
HELCOM Red List Melanitta nigra (wintering population)Melanitta nigra (wintering population)Endangered (EN)A2b
HELCOM Red List Podiceps grisegena (wintering population)Podiceps grisegena (wintering population)Endangered (EN)A2b, C1
HELCOM Red List Polysticta stelleri (wintering population)Polysticta stelleri (wintering population)Endangered (EN)A1a, B2ab(ii,iv,v), C1,2a
HELCOM Red List Xenus cinereusXenus cinereusEndangered (EN)D1
HELCOM Red List Rissa tridactylaRissa tridactyla (breeding/wintering)Endangered (EN)/Vulnerable (VU)D1/D2
HELCOM Red List Melanitta fuscaMelanitta fusca (breeging/wintering)Vulnerable (VU)/Endangered (EN)A2b/A2b
HELCOM Red List Somateria mollissimaSomateria mollissima (breeding/wintering)Vulnerable (VU)/Endangered (EN)A2abe/A2b
HELCOM Red List Larus fuscus fuscusLarus fuscus fuscusVulnerable (VU)A2abce
HELCOM Red List Mergus serrator (wintering population)Mergus serrator (wintering population)Vulnerable (VU)A2b
HELCOM Red List Philomachus pugnaxPhilomachus pugnaxVulnerable (VU)A2abcd
HELCOM Red List Podiceps auritusPodiceps auritus (breeding/wintering)Vulnerable (VU)/Near Threatened (NT)A2abce/D2
HELCOM Red List Arenaria interpresArenaria interpresVulnerable (VU)A2abce + 3ce + 4abce
HELCOM Red List Aythya marilaAythya marilaVulnerable (VU)A2bcd
HELCOM Red List Cepphus grylleCepphus grylle grylle/Cepphus grylle arcticusLC-VUA2ab/-/A2ab/D2
HELCOM Red List Hydroprogne caspiaHydroprogne caspiaVulnerable (VU)C1
HELCOM Red List Charadrius hiaticula hiaticulaCharadrius hiaticula hiaticulaNear Threatened (NT)A2bc
HELCOM Red List Hydrocoloeus minutus (wintering population)Hydrocoloeus minutus (wintering population)Near Threatened (NT)D2
HELCOM Red List Limosa limosaLimosa limosaNear Threatened (NT)A2ac
HELCOM Red List Oenanthe oenantheOenanthe oenantheNear Threatened (NT)A2abc
HELCOM Red List Tringa totanusTringa totanusNear Threatened (NT)A2ac
HELCOM Red List Vanellus vanellusVanellus vanellusNear Threatened (NT)A2bc
HELCOM Red List Actitis hypoleucosActitis hypoleucosNear Threatened (NT)A2ab
HELCOM Red List Aythya fuligulaAythya fuligulaNear Threatened (NT)A2ab
HELCOM Red List Branta bernicla hrota (wintering population)Branta bernicla hrota (wintering population)Near Threatened (NT)B1ab(iii), D2
HELCOM Red List Calidris temminckiiCalidris temminckiiNear Threatened (NT)A2a-c
HELCOM Red List Sternula albifronsSternula albifronsLeast Concern (LC)
HELCOM Red List Sterna sandvicensisSterna sandvicensisLeast Concern (LC)
HELCOM Red List Tadorna tadornaTadorna tadornaLeast Concern (LC)