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Monitoring Vlaamse stranden - winter 2007/08
Verstraete, H.; Stienen, E.W.M.; Van de walle, M. (2008). Monitoring Vlaamse stranden - winter 2007/08. Rapport van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, R.2008.38. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek: Brussel. 52 pp.
Part of: Rapport van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek: Brussel. ISSN 1782-9054, more

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    Aquatic organisms > Marine organisms > Aquatic birds > Marine birds
    ANE, Belgium, Belgian Coast [Marine Regions]; Belgium, Flanders [Marine Regions]

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  • Verstraete, H., more
  • Stienen, E.W.M., more
  • Van de walle, M., more

    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 scarce 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 young birds, was exceptional. The overall oil-rate of seabirds washed ashore on the Belgian beaches decreased enormously during the last decades. The average oil-rate of Guillemots and Black-legged Kittiwakes decreased 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 decreased 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 oil spills 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 winter grounds.

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