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Broedvogels in Vlaanderen 2013-2018. Recente status en trends van in Vlaanderen broedende vogelsoorten
Vermeersch, G.; Devos, K.; Driessens, G.; Everaert, J.; Feys, S.; Herremans, M.; Onkelinx, T.; Stienen, E.W.M.; T'Jollyn, F. (2020). Broedvogels in Vlaanderen 2013-2018. Recente status en trends van in Vlaanderen broedende vogelsoorten. Mededelingen van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, 2020 (1). INBO: Brussel. ISBN 9789040304231. 228 pp. https://dx.doi.org/10.21436/inbor.18794135
Part of: Mededelingen van het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, more

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  • Onkelinx, T., more
  • Stienen, E.W.M., more
  • T'Jollyn, F., more

Abstract
    This report discusses the results of several long-running breeding bird monitoring programs in Flanders (northern part of Belgium) for the period 2013-2018. The data from these programs are - if applicable - supplemented with data collected through citizen science, species-specific projects and/or regional publications insofar as these have not already been included in the existing databases. Although the degree of detail of the data varies greatly between species, we still have sufficient information at our disposal to be able to distinguish certain, partly recurring evidence-based patterns. A total of 182 species are discussed in this report. These are almost all breeding birds in Flanders, with the exception of a few rare introduced species. The known short and long term trends for breeding bird species (2007-2018 and 1980-2018 respectively) are largely similar. In the short term there is a somewhat higher proportion of declining species, while in the long term more species are described as ‘fluctuating’. Generally speaking, we can say that bird species associated with agricultural areas are declining (sharply). Long-distance migrants (sub-Saharan migrants) also show a clear negative trend on average. Forest birds, as a group, show a more moderate picture, but are also declining on average, especially under the influence of the individual trends of long-distance migrants among these forest bird species. Finally, species linked to swamp vegetation also appear to be under strong pressure. In summary, we can say that the collected figures paint a rather negative picture. Nearly 50% of the land area in Flanders consists of agricultural land and there the trends are predominantly very negative, especially for bird species linked to the crops themselves. Although a more mixed picture emerges in other habitats, there too, on average, there is considerable cause for concern. A positive development for nature conservation agencies such as ANB and Natuurpunt is that some species appear to benefit from local nature management in protected areas (e.g. Woodlark, Bittern, Little Bittern, Avocet). Another positive aspect is that many species of resident birds in our forests are doing relatively well. Locally, these forest areas also appear to offer sufficient quality rest and food to newcomers such as Raven and Eagle Owl. Taking into account the European population targets set for Flanders, there is still a lot of work to be done especially for species of marshes and coastal breeding birds. Although our knowledge about trends and distribution of breeding birds is extensive, this report also reveals some knowledge gaps. These are expected to be filled by the creation of a new Bird Atlas for which the fieldwork was recently started.

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