North Germany has a coast on the North Sea, while eastern coast of Germany lies on the Baltic sea, a unique and important area which is the largest brackish water system in the world with marked salinity gradients so that there are areas cohabited by freshwater, brackish water and marine species. Rar species inhabit the seas around Germany such as the Black Scoter (NT) and the Long-tailed Duck (VU) which has undergone a precipitous population decline in the last 20 years shown by studies of wintering populations in the Baltic Sea (Skov et al. 2011). Many species of gulls, ducks, terns and waders overwinter along the Baltic coast with priority trigger species the Common Eider (LC) and Little Tern (LC). Data for the distribution of birds at sea was collected between 1987 and 2002 with more than 15, 000 ship km travelled. Distance sampling analyses were applied to the data for all EU Birds Directive Annex I and migratory species in order to estimate total numbers of birds present. Species distributions were modelled for each species and then individual species maps combined to elucidate areas of overall importance with boundaries between high concentration areas determined by analysing the gradient of modelled bird density change over space, thereby allowing identification of potential SPAs.
Key threats for birds in German marine areas include:
o Habitat loss from gravel and sand extraction
o Pollution from oil spills
o Better protection of SPAs against major threats
o Correct some irregularities in the designation of protected sites; for example the non-designation of some parts of the Baltic Sea (within the 12nm Zone of Mecklenburg- Vorpommern) and in the borderline of the SPA S
Government's support/relevant policy
Responsibility for the German marine environment lies with the Federal States, with the national government only being responsible for areas of the EEZ outside of the national territorial limits 12nm from the shore. This administration complicates the procedure of selecting and managing protected areas because the process is not well coordinated between different governmental units and the regions may not be easily manageable. Two areas were proposed and designated in the EEZ in 2004, with further designation in some states in 2005; while other states are still in the process of designating the remaining sites.
Based on the procedure of producing maps following modelling of species distribution a single large SPA of c. 2,000 km Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.
Petrels and shearwaters
Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans
IUCN Red List Status
The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.
Sudfeldt, C., D. Doer, H. H
BirdLife International (2019) Country profile: Germany. Available from http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/germany. Checked: 2019-10-17