International Golden Plover Survey 2008
The aim of the Project was to coordinate counting of European Golden Plovers in October 2008 whilst relatively concentrated in northwest Europe. This survey followed a previous survey in 2003, plus earlier coordinated counts in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.
Following coordinated counts in Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark in the early 1990s, a coordinated count across several north-west European countries took place in October 2003. That survey recorded approximately 1 million individuals and provided new distribution information. However, there was room for improvement as many countries with significant passage populations were unable to participate, or were only able to provide incomplete data. Data are still being collated, but it is hoped that the 2008 survey will yield a more complete count, provide opportunities to assess trends and generate updated information on the important sites used during autumn migration.
The 2008 survey took place over the 7-day period centred on 18th October 2008. October was chosen as the month when the greatest proportion of the entire population is concentrated in the smallest area, thus facilitating a more complete count. This is the situation now, but with ongoing environmental change, phenology and distributions could change. Therefore, countries were strongly encouraged to provide information during October 2008, even if very few birds were traditionally present at that time, so that a complete baseline is available. To facilitate the survey a series of Country Organisers kindly offered to coordinate survey effort and collate counts in each country/region. They were in charge of local promotion, finding and coordinating volunteers, fund raising (where necessary) and collating counts. The precise field methods varied from one country to the next because in some Golden Plovers are concentrated in well-defined areas whilst in others they are widely dispersed.
The results of the Survey were published in the Wader Study Group Bulletin volume 119 and can be viewed here.