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Institution: BirdLife Austria
Project lead: Norbert Teufelbauer
Museumsplatz 1/10/8, A-1070 Wien
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Waterbird Census

Citizen Science with a long tradition

The first water bird counts in Austria took place as early as the 1950s. In the following years, the number of counts was gradually increased, and from 1970 onwards Austria-wide surveys have been carried out. This makes the waterbird census one of the longest running citizen science projects of BirdLife Austria. The censuses are carried out by volunteers between one and five times per winter (depending on the province) at defined river sections.

Decline in numbers

The aim of the waterbird census is to document the populations of waterbirds migrating through or overwintering in Austria, e.g. swans, ducks, geese or seagulls. In recent years, the majority of waterbird species have shown declining populations. Climate change is probably responsible for this – it leads to ever warmer winters and means that increasingly few waterfowl from northern and eastern Europe have to come as far south as Austria to find ice-free bodies of water for food.

Tasks and roles in the project

  • Observer: In their free time they survey the birds according to the specified counting method. They regularly receive a summary of the results and the latest trend analyses.
  • Federal state coordinators: They organise the censuses in the respective federal state. They are the first point of contact for the counters for questions and problems of any kind.
  • Project management: data checking, data management, evaluations, reporting, lectures, contact person for questions of all kinds.


Further informationand results can be found on the website.

If you have any questions about the project or are interested in the collected data/results, please contact the project manager.

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  • animals
Read 175 times| Last modified on Wednesday, 23 September 2020 13:50

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