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Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel

Research and Technology Center


Seabird Ecology Working Group (SAG)

Important Bird Areas in Portugal

European Commission (LIFE04NAT/000213)

Dr. Stefan Garthe

This project aims to contribute to the EU Birds Directive implementation in the marine environment. This shall be achieved through the detailed inventory of the most suitable areas for seabirds included in Annex I of the Birds Directive in the sea, and by developing the adequate methodological criteria for the identification and delimitation of those areas in the Portugese sector of the North Atlantic. The final objective is to contribute to the future designation of Special Protected Areas in coastal and pelagic waters in Portugal.

In more detail, the main activities in the project are:
  1. To obtain information about breeding and wintering seabird distribution and abundance
  2. To identify the oceanographic and biological variables that influence the patterns of seabird distribution and abundance at sea.
  3. To define a standard methodology to identify and delimitate the boundaries of those areas, and to define criteria for the IBA Programme of BirdLife International.
  4. To produce the inventory of marine IBAs important for seabirds of Annex I of Birds Directive and Species of European Concern (SPEC) in Portugal.

The role of the FTZ as a subcontractor in the project will be (a) to contribute to the overall discussion on methodologies and criteria to be applied for the identification of areas of particular importance for seabirds, and (b) to consult on the use of data loggers to determine foraging ranges and other behaviour of selected seabird species in the Portugese offshore sector.

The project runs from October 2004 to October 2008. It is being carried out by the Portugese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), coordinated by Iván Ramirez.

More information is available at

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