Ornis Hungarica. vol.12-13. (2003) p.199-209.
Large-scale monitoring of the effects of human disturbance on waterbirds: a review and recommendations for survey design
Disturbance, especially that caused by human recreational activities, is a threat to waterbirds, particularly since many recreational activities may be increasing in intensity and distribution. Disturbance can have a considerable effect on the numbers of birds using a site and in some circumstances may have consequences for the size of populations. The EC Birds Directive, Ramsar Convention and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement provide the legislative framework for waterbird conservation along the east Atlantic flyway and require signatories to assess the extent, effects and impacts of human disturbance and to mitigate against any deleterious effects. There is also a good scientific basis for monitoring the effects and impacts of disturbance. We recommend that existing large-scale volunteer-based surveys should be used to monitor the extent and distribution of human activities at a variety of spatial scales. However, we argue that these surveys are of little direct use in measuring the effects and impacts of disturbance on waterbirds.