Research using I-WeBS data

The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) follows a similar methodology to wintering waterbird monitoring schemes elsewhere in Europe and further afield. Every year, we send updated I-WeBS data to the International Waterbird Census (IWC) so that Irish data can contribute to global research into large-scale patterns of changing waterbird numbers, distributions and the factors underlying those changes. At the same time, we analyse I-WeBS data at a national level and publish results with a view to informing conservation and policy on the island of Ireland.

International Research

Along with data from other countries, some important analyses are then undertaken, as follows:

  • Regular AEWA ‘Conservation Status Reports’ (CSR analysis) and Ramsar ‘Waterbird Population Estimates’ (WPE) editions (available here)
  • IWC population trend analyses (available here)
  • EU multispecies indices (available here)
  • Critical Site Network tool, which uses combined IWC and IBA (Important Bird Area) data to identify critical waterbird sites in the African‐Eurasian flyway (available here)

 

As well as those regularly-updated reports, analyses, indices and tools, data from I-WeBS and the IWC is used to answer more specific research questions at international level. The IWC recently compiled a list of scientific publications that have used IWC data (including I‐WeBS data) through their data requests process. This has resulted in a total of 26 international scientific publications in the past five years (2016‐2020). Key themes have included assessments of the effectiveness of protected areas, and the effects of climate change on wintering waterbird populations. Just a few of these publications are listed below. For the full list, please email iwebs@birdwatchireland.ie for a copy.

  • Gaget, E., Johnston, A., Pavón-Jordán, D., Lehikoinen, A.S., Sandercock, B.K., Soultan, A., Bozic, L., Clausen, P., Devos, K., Domsa, C., Encarnacao, V., Faragó, S., Fitzgerald, N., Frost, T., Gaudard, C., Gosztonyi, L., Haas, F., Hornman, M., Langendoen, T., Ieronymidou, C., Luigujoe, L., Meissner, W., Mikuska, T., Molina, B., Musilova, Z., Paquet, J.-Y., Petkov, N., Portolou, D., Ridzon, J., Sniauksta, L., Stipniece, A., Teufelbauer, N., Wahl, J., Zenatello, M., Brommer, J.E. 2022. Protected aera characteristics that help waterbirds respond to climate warming. Conservation Biology 36(4).
  • Wauchope, H.S., Jones, J.P.G., Geldmann, J., Simmons, B.I., Amano, T., Blanco, D.E., Fuller, R.A., Johnston, A., Landendoen, T., Mundkur, T., Nagy, S. & Sutherland, W.J. 2022. Protected aeras have a mixed impact on waterbirds, but management helps. Nature.
  • Brides, K., Wood, K.A., Hall, C., Burke, B., McElwaine, G., Einarsson, Ó., Calbrade, N., Hill, O. & Rees, E.C. (2021) The Icelandic Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus population: current status and long-term (1986-2020) trends in its numbers and distribution. Wildfowl 71: 29-57. Link
  • Gaget, E., Pavón‐Jordán, D., Johnston, A., Lehikoinen, A., Hochachka, W.M., Sandercock, B.K., Soultan, A., Azafzaf, H., Bendjedda, N., Bino, T., Božič, L., Clausen, P., Dakki, M., Devos, K., Domsa, C., Encarnação, V., Erciyas‐Yavuz, K., Faragó, S., Frost, T., Gaudard, C., Gosztonyi, L., Haas, F., Hornman, M., Langendoen, T., Leronymidou, C., Kostyushin, V.A., Lewis, L.J., Lorentsen, S.‐H., Luigujõe, L., Meissner, W., Mikuska, T., Molina, B., Musilová, Z., Natykanets, V., Paquet, J.‐Y., Petkov, N., Portolou, D., Ridzoň, J., Sayoud, S., Šćiban, M., Sniauksta, L., Stīpniece, A., Strebel, N., Teufelbauer, N., Topić, G., Uzunova, D., Vizi, A., Wahl, J., Zenatello, M. and Brommer, J.E. (2021). Benefits of protected areas for nonbreeding waterbirds adjusting their distributions under climate warming. Conservation Biology 35(3), 834-845. Link
  • Pavon-Jordan, D., Abdouc, W., Azafzafd, H., Balaže, M., Binof, T., Borgg, J. J., Božičh, L., Butcharti,S,. H. M., Clausenk, P., Sniaukstal, L., Dakkim, M., Devosn, K., Domsao, C., Encarnacaop, V., Etayebq, K., Faragor, S., Fox, A. D., Frost, T., Gaudardt, C., Georgievu, V.,  Goratzev, I., Hornmanw, M., Kellerx, V., Kostiushyny, V., Langendoen, T., Tawickiaa, T., Leronymidouab, C., Lewis, L. J., Lorentsena, S-H., Luigujoead, L., Meissnerae, W., Mikuskaaf, T., Molinaag, B., Musilah, P.,Musilovaah, Z., Nagyz, S., Natykanetsai, V., Nilsson, L., Paquetak, J-Y., Portoloual, D., Ridzonam, J., Santangelib, A., Sayoudan, S., Šćibanao, M., Stipnieceap, A., Teufelbaueraq, N., Topićar, G., Uzunovaas, D., Viziat, A. J., Wahlau, J., Yavuzav, K. E., Zenatelloaw, M. & Lehikoinenb, A. (2020). Positive impacts of important bird and biodiversity areas on wintering waterbirds under changing temperatures throughout Europe and North Africa. Biological Conservation 246, 1085-1089. Link
  • Marchowski, D, Ławicki, Ł, Fox, AD, Nielsen, RD, Petersen, IK, Hornman, M,Nilsson, L, Haas, F, Wahl, J, Kieckbusch, J, Nehls, H, Calbrade, N, Hearn, R,Meissner, W, Fitzgerald, N, Luigujõe, L, Zenatello, M, Gaudard, C, and Koschinski,S (2020) Effectiveness of the European Natura 2000 network to sustain a specialist wintering waterbird population in the face of climate change. Scientific Reports 10(1), 1-12. Link
  • Pavon-Jordán, D., Clausen, P., Dagys, M., Devos, K., Encarnacao, V., Fox, A. D., Frost, T., Guadard, C., Hornman, M., Keller, V., Langendoen, T., Tawocki, T., Lewis, L. J., Lorentsen, S-H., Luigujoe, L., Meissner, W., Molina, B., Musil, P., Musilova, Z., Nilsson, L., Paquet, J-Y., Ridzon, J., stipniece, A., Teufelbauer, N., Wahl, J., Zentatello, M & Lehikoinen, A. (2018) Habitat‐ and species‐mediated short‐ and long‐term distributional changes in waterbird abundance linked to variation in European winter weather. Diversity & Distributions 2(2), 225-239. Link
  • Gaget, E, Galewski, T, Jiguet, F, and Le Viol, I (2018) Waterbird communities adjust to climate warming according to conservation policy and species protection status. Biological Conservation 227, 205‐212. Link
  • Amano, T, Székely, T, Sandel, B, Nagy, S, Mundkur, T, Langendoen, T, Blanco, D,Soykan, CU, and Sutherland, WJ (2018) Successful conservation of global waterbird populations depends on effective governance. Nature 553, 199–202. Link
  • Guillemain, M, and Hearn, R (2017) Ready for climate change? Geographic trends in the protection status of critical sites for Western Palearctic ducks. Biodiversity and Conservation 26(10), 2347‐2360. Link
  • Hall, C., Crowe, O., McElwaine, G., Einarsson, Ó., Calbrade, N. & Rees, E.C. (2016) Population size and breeding success of the Icelandic Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus: results of the 2015 international census. Wildfowl 66, 75–97. Link
  • Hall, C., Glanville, J.R., Boland, H., Einarsson, Ó., McElwaine, G., Holt, C.A., Spray, C.J. & Rees, E.C. (2012) Population size and breeding success of Icelandic Whooper Swans Cygnus Cygnus: results of the 2010 international census. Wildfowl 62, 73–96. Link
  • Worden, J., Crowe, O., Einarsson, Ó., Garðarsson, A., McElwaine, G. & Rees, E.C. (2009) Population size and breeding success of the Icelandic Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus: results of the January 2005 international census. Wildfowl 59, 17–40. Link
  • Crowe, O., Austen, G. E., Colhoun, K., Cranswick, P. A., Kershaw, M. & Musgrove, A. J. (2008) Estimates and trends of waterbird numbers wintering in Ireland 1994/95 – 2003/04. Bird Study 55, 66-77. Link
  • Worden, J., Cranswick, P.A., Crowe, O., McElwaine, G. & Rees, E.C. (2006) Numbers and distribution of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii wintering in Britain and Ireland: results of international censuses, January 1995, 2000 and 2005. Wildfowl 56, 3–22. Link
  • Cranswick, P.A., Bowler, J.M., Delany, S.N., Einarsson, O., Gardarsson, A., McElwaine, J.G., Merne, O.J., Rees, E.C. & Wells, J.H. (1996) Numbers of Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus in Iceland, Ireland and Britain in January 1995: results of the international Whooper Swan census. Wildfowl 47, 17–30. Link

Irish Research

I-WeBS data is also used to answer research questions and population estimates and trend updates at a national and all-Ireland level, to help inform species monitoring and conservation in Ireland. Where studies are peer-reviewed, the majority to date have been published in the Irish Birds journal. Just a few of these publications are listed below. If you’re having trouble sourcing a particular paper, please email iwebs@birdwatchireland.ie for a copy.

  • Burke, B., McElwaine, J. G., Fitzgerald, N., Kelly, S.B.A., McCulloch, N., Walsh, A. J., & Lewis, L. J. (2021) Population size, breeding success and habitat use of Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus and Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii in Ireland: results of the 2020 International Swan Census. Irish Birds 43, 57-70. Main Paper Link, Addendum (2022)
  • Burke, B., Lewis, L. J., Fitzgerald, N., Frost, T., Austin, G. & Tierney, T. D. (2018) Estimates of waterbird numbers wintering in Ireland, 2011/12 – 2015/16. Irish Birds 11, 1-12. Link
  • Lewis, L. J. Austin, G., Boland, H., Frost, T., Crowe, O. & Tierney, T. D. (2017) Waterbird populations on non-estuarine coasts of Ireland: results of the 2015/16 Non-Estuarine Coastal Waterbird Survey (NEWS-III). Irish Birds 10, 511-522.
  • Lewis, L. J., Tierney, N., Boland, H. & Tierney, D. (2016) Tidal variation in the use of Dublin Bay by wintering waterbirds. Irish Birds 10, 373 – 382.
  • Crowe, O., McElwaine, J.G., Boland, H. & Enlander, I.J. (2015) Whooper Cygnus cygnus and Bewick’s C. columbianus bewickii Swans in Ireland: results of the International Swan Census, January 2015. Irish Birds 10, 151–158.
  • Crowe, O., Boland, H., Walsh, A.J. & Tierney, T.D. (2014) Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in Ireland: a report on the 2013 census, and long-term trends. Irish Birds 10, 11-18.
  • Crowe, O. & Holt, C. (2013) Estimates of waterbird numbers wintering in Ireland, 2006/07–2010/11. Irish Birds 9, 545-552.
  • Crowe, O., Austin, G. & Boland, H. (2012) Waterbird populations on non-estuarine coasts in Ireland: results of the 2006/07 Non-Estuarine Coastal Waterfowl Survey (NEWS). Irish Birds 9, 385-396.
  • Boland, H., McElwaine, J.G., Henderson, G., Hall, C., Walsh, A. & Crowe, O. (2010) Whooper Cygnus cygnus and Bewick’s C.columbianus bewickii Swans in Ireland: results of the International Swan Census, January 2010. Irish Birds 9, 1–10.
  • Crowe, O., McElwaine, J.G., Worden, J., Watson, G.A., Walsh, A. &Boland, H. (2005) Whooper Cygnus cygnus and Bewick’s C.columbianus bewickii Swans in Ireland: results of the International Swan Census, January 2005. Irish Birds 7, 483–488.
  • Colhoun, K. & Newton, S. (2000) Winter waterbird populations on non-estuarine coasts in the Republic of Ireland: results of the 1997-98 Non-Estuarine Coastal Waterfowl Survey (NEWS). Irish Birds 6, 527-542.
  • Colhoun, K., McElwaine, J.G., Cranswick, P.A., Enlander, I. & Merne, O.J. (2000) Numbers and distribution of Whooper Cygnus cygnus and Bewick’s C. columbianus bewickii Swans in Ireland: results of the International Swan Census, January 2000. Irish Birds 6, 485–494.

I-WeBS Publications

See here for annual reports, newsletters, papers, forms and other publications relating to the Irish Wetland Bird Survey.