Marine and offshore
Monitoring and surveys

Coastal and seabirds

The Dutch part of the North Sea is of great importance for large numbers of seabirds that migrate and spend the winter there. There are also internationally important colonies of coastal breeding birds along the Dutch coast, suh as Sandwich terns and lesser black-backed gulls. The 'offshore bird ecology expert group' at Waardenburg Ecology is working on this part of the Dutch avifauna.

Our bird ecology department has a dedicated team of marine and coastal bird ecology experts. The core activities of the expert group include:
· Monitoring numbers, distributions and habitat use.
· Studying flight behaviour.
· Breeding biology studies.
· Impact assessments of offshore developments, such as large-scale wind farms.

Innovative techniques

We use a variety of techniques and methods for our research. Long-term monitoring for the Dutch national seabird monitoring programme (MWTL), uses ship-based and now aerial surveys. We also use digital aerial surveys to map the numbers and distributions of birds at sea.

We use dedicated bird radars and GPS loggers to track the movements of birds. We also use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and specially developed software to count colony-breeding bird without the need to enter the colony.

Experience and expertise

We have built up a great deal of expertise through our years of studying bird movements and numbers. We apply this experience and knowledge in environmental impact assessments and appropriate assessments. This expertise is now unique within the Netherlands and beyond!