Baltic Sea states embark on a wintering waterbird survey

The Baltic coastal countries have taken on the task of counting all the waterbirds wintering in the Baltic Sea, reported LSM's Russian-language service Saturday.

Counting the birds is a long-term challenge as monitoring of the highly mobile animals requires scheduled cooperation between the states.

The shallow waters of the Baltic Sea are important for wintering waterbirds such as diving ducks, divers and alcids, reported HELCOM, an organization governing the Helsinki Convention for protecting the Baltic Marine Environment.

Monitoring the highly mobile birds requires international coordination so as to produce reliable estimates. 

From Latvia, the Latvian Ornithological society will be participating in the attempt to describe the Baltic-wide bird distributions and abundances during January and February 2016. 

The coordinated survey is conducted from aircrafts or ships, covering a pre-defined network of monitoring transect lines. 

The Baltic Sea is an important wintering ground for species that breed in the region as well as for species breeding in the high Arctic. For example, the Baltic Sea is a critically important for the threatened long-tailed duck, according to HELCOM.

Nature portal reported that the survey was carried out in Latvia this weekend.

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