Flyway monitoring: securing and transferring

The East Atlantic Flyway is a migratory path followed each year by birds between the Arctic breeding grounds and the overwintering regions along the west coast of Africa. The Wadden Sea is a vital zone on this migratory path, serving as a breeding ground, a stopover point and an overwintering region and making the Wadden Sea part of a truly majestic bigger picture. Monitoring of the flyway between 2012 and 2018, which was partly promoted and executed by PRW, shows that the Wadden Sea is a weak link for migratory birds following the East Atlantic migratory path. This is particularly the case for birds that breed in the Wadden Sea region and also affects a number of bird species that pass through or overwinter in the region.

This clearly demonstrates that something is wrong in the Wadden Sea region and measures must be taken to maintain the bird populations. Thorough monitoring of the entire flyway will be essential for these purposes. Recently, PRW has played a role in the facilitation and execution of these efforts in collaboration with the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WFSI), Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) and the Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). Enough operational progress has been made to enable us to take a step back halfway through the new programme period, also due in part to the start of the European ‘Flyway Wadden’ initiative by LIFE-IP (L’Instrument Financier pour l’Environnement Integrated Projects) In order to safeguard the consistency and quality, PRW will continue to administer the monitoring programme for the next two years whilst also seeking a new owner to whom the flyway monitoring programme can be transferred.

Role of the PRW:

Results to be delivered:

  • The flyway monitoring programme will be executed until the end of 2020.
  • Ownership for the flyway monitoring programme will be transferred as of 1 January 2021.
  • Long-term structural funding for flyway monitoring will be guaranteed from 2021 onwards.
  • The communication process regarding the flyway monitoring programme will have been completed in 2020.

Commissioning parties:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
  • Provinces in the Wadden Sea region: North Holland, Friesland and Groningen
  • Natural Wadden Coalition

Follow-up action by:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality