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Pomeranian Bay SPA


Transcript of the Pomeranian Bay SPA video

An area measuring 200,400 hectares might seem large for a marine bird sanctuary, but its size soon comes into perspective considering the number of birds found in the Pomeranian Bay SPA during the course of a year: Up to half a million sea ducks, plus hundreds of the rare divers and grebe that spend the winter in the area. The great attraction of the Pomeranian Bay for sea birds is accounted for by its rich feeding grounds and freedom from ice in winter.

Boundaries of the SPA

Great-crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) Photo: S-E. Arndt
Great-crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) Photo: S-E. Arndt
Slavonian grebe (Podiceps auritus) Photo: H-G. Arndt
Slavonian grebe  (Podiceps auritus) Photo: H-G. Arndt

The area’s boundaries are mainly defined according to the distribution centres of Birds Directive Annex I species and a number of migratory bird species. Conservation objectives include maintenance and restoration of the marine area in its capacity as a feeding, wintering, moulting, transit and resting area for these species, notably red-throated diver, black-throated diver, Slavonian grebe, little gull, common and Arctic tern (Annex I species), and for regularly observed migratory bird species, notably red-necked grebe, long-tailed duck, common scoter, velvet scoter, common gull, lesser black-backed gull, common guillemot, razorbill and black guillemot. Extensive conservation objectives are laid down for these species in the legislation designating the site.

As the Pomeranian Bay SPA overlaps the Odra Bank and Adler Ground Natura 2000 sites, it also includes important sandbanks and reefs, which serve as feeding habitats for the sea birds. These rest and moult on the sea surface in large concentrations close to their feeding areas. The marine areas between these concentration sites are also included in the SPA, however, so that the sea birds continue to be protected in harsh winters when sea ice forces them to move elsewhere.

 


Red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena). Photo: S-E. Arndt
Photo: Red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena). Photo: S-E. Arndt
Black-throated diver (Gavia arctica) in full plumage. Photo: S-E. Arndt
Photo: Black-throated diver (Gavia arctica) in full plumage. Photo: S-E. Arndt
Little gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus). Photo: S-E. Arndt
Photo: Little gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus). Photo: S-E. Arndt
Black guillemot (Ceppus gryllus). Photo: S-E. Arndt
Photo: Black guillemot (Ceppus gryllus). Photo: S-E. Arndt

Key species in the SPA
Key species Number in the SPA*
Red-throated diver 10-50 (Wi) 750 (Sp)
Black-throated diver 310 (Sp) 700 (Au)
Red-necked grebe 170 (Wi) -
Slavonian grebe 490 (Wi) -
Eider duck 130 (Wi) -
Long-tailed duck 130.000 (Wi) 77.000 (Sp)
Common scoter 47.000 (Wi) 170.000 (Sp)
Velvet scoter 30.000 (Wi) 43.000 (Sp)
Red-breasted merganser - 1-5 (Sp)
Little gull 11-50 (Sp) 130 (Au)
Common tern Recorded small number, irregular
Arctic tern Recorded no current population statistics
Black guillemot 690 (Wi) -

Key conservation objectives

To ensure that the listed bird species survive and grow in number, and to safeguard their habitats, it is necessary to maintain and restore:


  1. The population size and population quality of the bird species, with the aim of attaining good conservation status taking into account natural population dynamics and population trends; species whose biogeographic population is shrinking are prioritised
  2. The birds’ main direct and indirect food sources, and in particular the natural population densities, age range distributions and geographical distribution patterns of organisms serving the bird species as food sources
  3. The site’s characteristic, heightened biological productivity at vertical fronts in the water, and its geo-hydromorphology with the related species-specific ecological functions and effects
  4. Unfragmented habitats in the area, each with their own species-specific ecological functions and spatial interrelationships, along with unrestricted access between these habitats and neighbouring marine areas
  5. The natural quality of habitats, and in particular their protection from pollution and harm, and protection of the bird populations from major disturbances

Importance of the SPA for selected sea duck species

Long-tailed duck

Large numbers of long-tailed duck can be found across much of the German Baltic Sea during both winter and spring. The largest single area frequented in winter (December to February) lies north of Usedom and east of Rügen. Some 130,000 individuals can then be found here, representing most of the German Baltic Sea winter population. The main inward migration to the German Baltic Sea takes place from late October to early December. In Autumn (early October to late November), the birds mostly head for Odra Bank and the Adler Ground. They presumably use the good feeding conditions there to rebuild their fat reserves after the strenuous breeding and migration periods. Migration home to the birds’ breeding grounds begins in early February and reaches its height in late March to late April.

Common scoter

Common scoter are widespread throughout the German Baltic Sea in winter. Their centre of distribution in spring (March to May) is on the Odra Bank. While ‘only’ about 47,000 individuals spend the winter there (December to February), some 170,000 can be found in the protected area in spring. The Pomeranian Bay is also considered an important moulting area for common scoter in summer (June to September).

Velvet scoter

Velvet Scoter are found both in winter (December to February) and in spring (March to May) between the Greifswald bodden and the German and Polish parts of the Pomeranian Bay through to the region of the Adler Ground. Some 30,000 to 45,000 individuals frequent the protected area during this period, representing most of the German Baltic Sea winter population.


Male long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis). Photo: M. Hauswirth (BfN)
Male long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis). Photo: M. Hauswirth (BfN)
Male common scoter (Melanitta nigra). Photo: M. Hauswirth (BfN)
Male common scoter (Melanitta nigra). Photo: M. Hauswirth (BfN)
Male velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca). Photo: S-E. Arndt
Male velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca). Photo: S-E. Arndt
 

Natura 2000 sites in the German Baltic Sea EEZ:

 

Baltic Sea

Fehmarn Belt

Kadet Trench

Adler Ground

Western Rønne Bank

Odra Bank

Pomeranian Bay

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