Bureau Waardenburg
Varkensmarkt 9
4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
T: +31 (0) 345 512710
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Verstoring van vogels door recreatie
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Review on the effects of recreation on birds

We have carried out a review that summarises the current literature on the effects of recreation on birds.  This review (in Dutch) can also be downloaded via the website of the Dutch BirdLife partner; Vogelbescherming Nederland, or can be purchased (€25-) as a printed report from Bureau Waardenburg.

The report was published in order to give a clear overview of the available information from both within, and outside of, the Netherlands. The report details both the sources of disturbance as well as possible consequences for species found in the Netherlands.

Recreational activities may have a number of effects on birds such as preventing birds feeding, preventing birds using an area or a reduction in breeding success.

Recreation activities were grouped into three categories:

  • land-based recreation: walkers, dogs, cyclists, motorised vehicles, sound, lighting;
  • water-based recreation: jet skis, motor boats, sail boats, canoes, kayaks, rowing boats, windsurfers, kite surfers;
  • aerial recreation: kites, ultralights, helicopters, hang gliders, paragliders, hot air balloons.

The report details the consequences of disturbance, including:

  • changes to physiology, behaviour, food and energy requirements, metabolism, reproduction and survival;
  • differences in responses between species (risks of predation and food requirements);
  • difference between types of disturbances (intensity, duration and frequency);
  • habituation;
  • disturbance distances (interpreted in a table);
  • sensitivity to distubance. 

A number of factors play a role in assessing the effects of disturbance on birds. The distance of the disturbance, frequency, intensity and type of activity all have an influence on how birds will be affected. The level of disturbance can also be influenced by the season and the species involved. By considering these aspects the effects of disturbance of birds can be minimised.

More information can be found on the disturbance page of the website.

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