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Monitoring Vlaamse stranden : winter 2007/08

Research output: Book/ReportReports of Research Institute for Nature and ForestResearch

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Original languageDutch
Place of PublicationBrussel
PublisherInstituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameRapporten van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek
PublisherInstituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek: Brussel
No.INBO.R.2008.38
Volume38

Abstract

This is the second report of the Beached Bird Surveys along the Flemish coast. The study was conducted under the authority of the Flemish Agency for Maritime and Coast Affairs (AMDK-AK) and in close cooperation with the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). This report presents the results of the Beached Bird Surveys conducted during the winter 2007/08.

During last winter, 524 birds washed ashore on the Flemish beaches. Densities are comparable with previous years, but he distribution of the monthly densities differs from the general pattern. Due to heavy storms, densities peaked in November. Especially densities of songbirds, waders and Northern Fulmar were higher than usual just like the densities of some scarse species.

As usual, auks and gulls were most numerous. However, densities of Razorbills and Guillemots were lower than usual, while densities of Little Auks were remarkably high. The density of Black-legged Kittiwake was the highest since the winter 1991/92. Also the fact that most (79%) of the beached kittiwakes were jong birds, was exceptional.

The overall oil-rate of seabirds washed ashore on the Belgian beaches decreased enormoulsy during the last decades. The average oil-rate of Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes decresed from 98 and 80 % during the sixties, to 35 and 15 % during previous winters.

During the last few years, the oil-rate of both Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes suddenly decresade to an even lower level. This sudden decrease in combination with a stable number of beached individuals indicates that there is an additional problem not linked to olispills that causes the death of these seabirds. Possibly the decreased food abundance in the breeding grounds along the east coast of Scotland give rise to body condition problems for these birds on the wintergrounds.

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