Nordic Waterbirds and Climate Network
A NordForsk Nordic Network of Excellence 2010-2013
The Nordic Waterbirds and Climate Network (NOWAC) is an established network linking research groups in the Nordic countries and elsewhere to synergise current research on waterbird ecology and the effects of climate change.
The aims of the network are to improve existing knowledge on the state of the waterfowl populations and provide new information on climate change effects on Nordic wetland ecosystems and the distribution, ecology and abundance of the migrant waterbirds that use them throughout their annual cycle. This will be achieved by developing a forum to enable researchers, advisers and government agencies to better harmonise common efforts to adapt to such changes in the future and to predict the dangers and opportunities that change are likely to bring to key sectors of society.
Migratory waterbirds span the globe with their annual migration. They are a shared resource of considerable societal, financial and administrative importance, yet we lack basic knowledge about how climate change may impact upon these populations.
Every year, waterbird populations funnel down into Western Europe from the arctic and many pass the Nordic countries. The Nordic nations also contribute large numbers of breeding waterbirds to the flyway necessitating integration of knowledge and management policies across the region.
NOWAC is concerned with all dabbling and diving ducks breeding in the Nordic countries. In some species, a clear decrease in breeding ducks has been observed in the last few years. It is the ambition of NOWAC to identify such trends and notify the public before the decline is hard to reverse. Some species have altered their migration patterns in the last few years, and a change in the number of observed individuals in one area does not have to reflect a decrease in the total population. This is why the work to collaborate and compare data between countries in the Nordic region is so important in order to focus on actual declines rather than observed declines in one area.
The species of interest are: Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, Garganey, Common Pochard, Greater Scaup, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Harlequin, Long-tailed Duck, Common Eider, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser and Goosander.
NOWAC is a NordForsk funded Top Research Initiative