International Action Plan due for Common Eider 22nd January 2020

This spring, after several years of concern for the species, the first steps will be taken towards an international action plan for Common Eider. Along with other stakeholders, Waterfowlers’ Network has been invited to participate in the process.

By Iben Hove Sørensen, Waterfowlers' Network
Photo by Niklas Liljebäck, Svenska Jägareförbundet

Mariehamn, capital of the autonomous Finnish province of Åland, will host a workshop in April aimed at kick-starting the development of an International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP) for the Common Eider under the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).

“Common Eider is one of the species we wish to focus on, and I am extremely proud to see Waterfowlers’ Network invited to the upcoming workshop and thus be given a role in the development of the action plan. We will be more than happy to support this process”, Claus Lind Christensen, chairman of the Danish Hunters’ Association.

Common Eider is an important game species in many countries, yet some populations have experienced long-term declines and the species is now classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. The species’ decline has been particularly severe in Europe, where the negative trend is thought to have been driven by threats such as overharvesting of aquatic resources, pollution, disturbance and hunting.

Three Eider populations are listed under AEWA, and the action plan is foreseen to cover all of these. The birds belonging to the area covered by Waterfowlers’ Network all belong to the Baltic/Wadden Sea/British Isles population estimated to number around 930.000 individuals.

The AEWA ISSAP workshop is kindly being hosted by the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the regional Government of Åland. The Finnish Wildlife Agency and the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat are organizing the workshop.

The resulting plan will hopefully be ready for adoption at the 8th Session of the Meeting of the AEWA Parties in 2021.