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.
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.
Further informationand results can be found here: https://www.birdlife.at/page/monitoring
If you have any questions about the project or are interested in the collected data/results, please contact the project manager.