Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 42/1-2 | 2005 | 69-80

  Waterbirds counted in mid-January in France: importance of the protected areas for wintering birds and trends from 1983 to 2002
Deceuninck, B.

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Article summary

A trend analysis has been realised on counting data of wintering waders and waterfowls on a twenty years period (1983 - 2002). Most species are increasing (11) or fluctuate (10), one is stable and one is decreasing. National trends have been compared to trends observed only on protected sites on one hand, and on unprotected sites, on the other hand. In most cases, national trends are similar to trends observed in nature reserves and hunting reserves. As these protected sites gather more than 75% of counted waterbirds (0 % for 9 species!), trends on protected sites weigh for most of the national trends. Wetland management could be improved in order to increase the carrying capacity of wetlands during winter for hunted species, and for protected species as well. One solution should be to decrease disturbances on unprotected sites, including disturbances generated by hunting activities. Currently, carrying capacity of wetlands in France is below 50 % of its potential. Protected areas (< 1/3 of count site areas) host ¾ of the total count, this represents a density six times larger than in the unprotected sites!

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