Effectiveness of the European Natura 2000 network to sustain a specialist wintering waterbird population in the face of climate change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Analysis of coordinated Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) count data from the last 30 years showed a 38.1% decrease in wintering numbers in North-West Europe, from 309,000 during 1988–1991 to c.192,300 individuals during 2015–2018. Annual trends in wintering numbers differed throughout the range. Numbers decreased in the UK, Ireland, and in the Netherlands, while numbers were stable in Denmark. Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Estonia showed increasing numbers, suggesting a shift in the distribution of the species within its wintering grounds towards the east and north. Higher temperatures in northern and eastern areas were correlated with the range shift of the wintering distribution. Deaths from bycatch drowning of Scaup in fishing gear have significantly decreased in recent decades in the Netherlands, where currently the greatest threat is considered the deterioration of food resources. The increasing concentration of wintering Scaup in coastal Poland and Germany (where lack of effective implementation of conservation measures fail to protect the species from the impacts of bycatch and declining food quality) pose major threats to the entire population.


  • Dominik Marchowski
  • Łukasz Ławicki
  • Anthony D. Fox
  • Rasmus D. Nielsen
  • Ib K. Petersen
  • Menno Hornman
  • Leif Nilsson
  • Fredrik Haas
  • Johannes Wahl
  • Jan Kieckbusch
  • Hans W. Nehls
  • Neil Calbrade
  • Richard Hearn
  • Włodzimierz Meissner
  • Niamh Fitzgerald
  • Leho Luigujoe
  • Marco Zenatello
  • Clemence Gaudard
  • Sven Koschinski
External organisations
  • Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Aarhus University
  • Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology
  • Ornithological Working Group Schleswig-Holstein
  • Ornithological Working Group Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • British Trust for Ornithology
  • Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
  • University of Gdansk
  • BirdWatch Ireland
  • Estonian University of Life Sciences - EMÜ
  • Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)
  • Meereszoologie
  • West-Pomeranian Nature Society (ZTP)
  • Federation of German Avifaunists (DDA)
  • Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) - BirdLife France
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Article number20286
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch