West Pomeranian Nature Society

Gryfino, Poland

West Pomeranian Nature Society

Gryfino, Poland

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Jankowiak L.,University Of Szczecin | Skorka P.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Lawicki L.,West Pomeranian Nature Society | Wylegala P.,Polish Society for Nature Conservation Salamandra | And 3 more authors.
Ecological Research | Year: 2015

Roosting site selection by geese is a key factor for survival during migration and wintering. Birds should select sites that minimize thermoregulation demands and predation risk, and maximize foraging efficiency. We used data on the spatial location of geese roosting sites in Poland to compare landscape features and the conservation status of roosting and non-roosting sites at different scales ranging from 5 to 50 km. Logistic regression revealed that the sites selected by geese had larger waterbody size than non-selected sites, and surrounded by a smaller coverage of woodland at the scale of 50 km. They also were more often Natura 2000 sites. The most important factors positively affecting the abundance of geese were the size of waterbody and low coverage of artificial area (mostly urban) within a 50 km radius. Several further factors also influenced the roosting site selection. Regardless to the scale a large coverage of farmland (mostly rapeseed) positively affected roosting geese whereas forest coverage had a negative effect. Spatial hierarchical clustering analysis showed that the roosting sites were densely located in regions characterized by the most intensive agriculture. Farming intensity therefore seems to increase the abundance of geese, and consequently, to increase a possible conflict between goose conservation and food production. To alleviate the conflicts we delineated areas that may be most affected and where the conservation measures should be implemented first. As geese respond to environmental factors at different spatial scales this scale-dependency should be included in the conservation and management of goose populations. © 2015, The Ecological Society of Japan.


Pavon-Jordan D.,The Helsinki Laboratory of Ornithology | Pavon-Jordan D.,University of Helsinki | Fox A.D.,University of Aarhus | Clausen P.,University of Aarhus | And 20 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2015

Aim: Species are responding to climate change by changing their distributions, creating debate about the effectiveness of existing networks of protected areas. As a contribution to this debate, we assess whether regional winter abundances and distribution of the Smew Mergellus albellus, a migratory waterbird species listed on Annex I (EU Birds Directive) that overwinters exclusively in European wetlands, changed during 1990-2011, the role of global warming in driving distributional changes and the effectiveness of the network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs, EU Birds Directive) in the context of climate change. Location: Europe. Methods: We used site-specific counts (6,883 sites) from 16 countries covering the entire flyway to estimate annual abundance indices and trends at country, region (north-eastern, central and south-western) and flyway scales, inside and outside SPAs. We fitted autoregressive models to assess the effect of winter temperature on the annual abundance indices whilst accounting for autocorrelation. Results: The Smew wintering distribution shifted north-eastwards in Europe in accordance with the predictions of global warming, with increasing numbers in the north-eastern region and declines in the central region. Trends in wintering numbers were more positive in SPAs on the north-eastern and south-western part of the flyway. However, a large proportion of the wintering population remains unprotected in north-eastern areas outside of the existing SPA network. Main conclusions: SPAs accommodated climate-driven abundance changes in the north-eastern region of the wintering distribution by supporting increasing numbers of Smew in traditional and newly colonized areas. However, we highlight gaps in the current network, suggesting that urgent policy responses are needed. Given rapid changes in species distributions, we urge regular national and international assessments of the adequacy of the EU Natura 2000 network to ensure coherence in site-safeguard networks for this and other species. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Jankowiak L.,University Of Szczecin | Lawicki L.,West Pomeranian Nature Society
Bird Study | Year: 2014

Capsule During flood years (2003, and 2010, during a study 2003-2011) riparian birds nested more numerously on arable land than in their preferred habitats of the meadows and gravel pits in the Lower Odra Valley, NW Poland. The study showed the importance of even marginal habitats during stochastic disturbances and that they should be taken into consideration in conservation management. © 2014 British Trust for Ornithology.


Marchowski D.,University Of Szczecin | Neubauer G.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Lawicki L.,West Pomeranian Nature Society | Wozniczka A.,Polish National Marine Fisheries Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The European population of Greater Scaup Aythya marila has experienced an alarming, ∼60% decline in numbers over the last two decades. The brackish lagoons of the Odra River Estuary (ORE) in the south-western Baltic Sea, represent an important area for the species during the non-breeding season in Europe. The lagoons regularly support over 20 000 Scaup, with peaks exceeding 100 000 (38%-70% of the population wintering in NW Europe and the highest number recorded in April 2011-105 700). In the ORE, Scaup feed almost exclusively on the non-native Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha. This mussel was present in the ORE already in the 19th century and continues to be superabundant. Using the results of 22 Scaup censuses (November to April 2002/2003 to 2013/2014) from the whole ORE (523 km2 of water), we show that Scaup flocks follow areas with the greatest area of occurrence and biomass of the Zebra Mussel, while areas with low mussel densities are ignored. The numbers of Scaup in the ORE are primarily related to the area of Zebra Mussel occurrence on the lagoon's bottom (km2) in a non-linear fashion. Zebra Mussels were absolutely prevalent (97% of biomass) in the digestive tracts of birds unintentionally by-caught in fishing nets (n = 32). We estimate that Scaup alone consume an average of 5 400 tons of Zebra Mussels annually, which represents 5.6% of the total resources of the mussel in the ORE. Our results provide a clear picture of the strong dependence of the declining, migratory duck species on the non-native mussel, its primary food in the ORE. Our findings are particularly important as they can form the basis for the conservation action plan aimed at saving the north-western European populations of Scaup. © 2015 Marchowski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Lawicki L.,West Pomeranian Nature Society | Wylegala P.,Polish Society for Nature Protection Salamandra
Wader Study Group Bulletin | Year: 2011

Surveys in W Poland during 2004-2010 show a 73% decline in the Eurasian Curlew population since 1980- 1996. Most curlew breed along the valleys of the big rivers. The most likely reasons for the decline are loss and degradation of habitat arising from modern agricultural practices, land drainage, development and afforestation and an increase in ground predators.


Lwicki L.,West Pomeranian Nature Society
British Birds | Year: 2014

The European breeding and non-breeding populations of the Great White Egret Ardea alba have increased dramatically since 1980. During this period the breeding range has expanded to the north and west, and the species has nested for the first time in 13 countries, including Sweden and England. Since 2000 there has also been a substantial increase in the wintering populations in western and central Europe, where it formerly wintered in small numbers or only occasionally, with flocks of several hundred individuals reported from some countries. Changes in the availability of foraging habitat and food, the cessation of persecution and related human-induced mortality, improved legal protection, and climate change have probably all played a part in the patterns described here.


PubMed | West Pomeranian Nature Society, Polish National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, University Of Szczecin, Polish Academy of Sciences and Linus Maciej Jarzemski
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

The European population of Greater Scaup Aythya marila has experienced an alarming, ~60% decline in numbers over the last two decades. The brackish lagoons of the Odra River Estuary (ORE) in the south-western Baltic Sea, represent an important area for the species during the non-breeding season in Europe. The lagoons regularly support over 20 000 Scaup, with peaks exceeding 100 000 (38%-70% of the population wintering in NW Europe and the highest number recorded in April 2011-105 700). In the ORE, Scaup feed almost exclusively on the non-native Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha. This mussel was present in the ORE already in the 19th century and continues to be superabundant. Using the results of 22 Scaup censuses (November to April 2002/2003 to 2013/2014) from the whole ORE (523 km2 of water), we show that Scaup flocks follow areas with the greatest area of occurrence and biomass of the Zebra Mussel, while areas with low mussel densities are ignored. The numbers of Scaup in the ORE are primarily related to the area of Zebra Mussel occurrence on the lagoons bottom (km2) in a non-linear fashion. Zebra Mussels were absolutely prevalent (97% of biomass) in the digestive tracts of birds unintentionally by-caught in fishing nets (n = 32). We estimate that Scaup alone consume an average of 5 400 tons of Zebra Mussels annually, which represents 5.6% of the total resources of the mussel in the ORE. Our results provide a clear picture of the strong dependence of the declining, migratory duck species on the non-native mussel, its primary food in the ORE. Our findings are particularly important as they can form the basis for the conservation action plan aimed at saving the north-western European populations of Scaup.

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