Population information

Order name Anseriformes
Family name Anatidae
Scientific name Somateria mollissima Common name Common Eider
Population name mollissima, Baltic, Denmark & Netherlands
Breeding range Baltic, Wadden Sea Non-breeding range
Red List Category Near Threatened
Ramsar regions Europe

Conservation Framework

Conservation framework Notes

Population size

Publication Start year End year Minimum Maximum Estimate quality Notes References Actions
WPE 2 1990 1995 1,350,000 1,700,000 [R578]
WPE 4 0 0 760,000 760,000 [S5580] [R185]
WPE 3 0 0 850,000 1,200,000 [R530]
WPE 1 0 0 -1 -1
WPE 5 2009 2009 976,000 976,000 Expert opinion [S8124] [R1254]
CSR 4 1990 2000 760,000 760,000 Expert opinion [R185]
CSR 5 1990 2000 760,000 760,000 Expert opinion [S5584] [R185] [R889] [R895]
CSR 6 2003 2010 976,000 976,000 Expert opinion [S8266] [R1254] [R1362]

Population trends

Publication Start year End year Trend Trend quality Notes References Actions
WPE 2 1984 1994 STA [R578]
WPE 4 1990 2000 DEC [R185]
WPE 3 1991 2001 DEC [R530]
WPE 1 0 0 Unknown
WPE 5 1990 2000 DEC Reasonable [R185]
CSR 4 1990 2000 DEC Reasonable [R185]
CSR 5 1990 2000 DEC Reasonable [R185]
CSR 6 2000 2009 DEC Reasonable [T6266] [R1254] [R1352] [R1349] [R1362] [R1381] [R1521]

Population 1% level

Publication Yearset 1 percent Note
WPE 2 1997 15000
WPE 4 2006 7600
WPE 3 2002 10300
WPE 1 0 -1
WPE 5 2012 9800
CSR 4 0 -1
CSR 5 0 -1
CSR 6 0 -1


  • R578 - Scott, D.A. and Rose, P.M. 1996. Atlas of Anatidae populations in Africa and western Eurasia. Wetlands International Publication No. 41. Wetlands International, Wageningen, NL. 336 pp.
  • R185 - Desholm, M., Christensen, T.K., Scheiffarth, G., Hario, M., Andersson, ?., Ens, B., Camphuysen, C.J., Nilsson, L., Waltho, C.M., Lorentsen, S-H., Kuresoo, A.., Kats, R.K.H., Fleet, D.M. and Fox, A.D. 2002. Status of the Baltic/Wadden Sea population of the Common Eider Somateriam. mollissima. Wildfowl 53: 167-203
  • R530 - Pihl, S. 2002. Revision of the estimate for the Baltic/Wadden Sea Common Eider population.Wetlands International Seaduck Specialist Group Bulletin 9: 13-16.
  • R1254 - Ekroos J, Fox, A.D. Christensen, T.K., Petersen, I.K., Kilpi, M., J?nsson, J.E., Green, M., Laursen, K., Cervencl, A., de Boer, P., Nilsson, L., Meissner, W., Garthe, S. and ?st, M. 2012. Declines amongst breeding Eider Somateria mollissima numbers in the Baltic/Wadden Sea flyway. Ornis Fennica 89: 1-10.
  • R889 - Skov, H., Hein?nen, S., ?ydelis, R, Bellebaum, J., Bzoma, S., Dagys, M., Durinck, J., Garthe, S., Grishanov, G., Hario, M., Kieckbusch, J.K., Kube, J., Kuresoo, A., Larsson, K., Luigujoe, L., Meissner, W., Nehls, H.W., Nilsson, L., Petersen, I.K., Roos, M.M., Pihl, S., Sonntag, N. Stock, A. and A. Stipniece. 2011. Waterbird populations and pressures in the Baltic Sea. TemaNord 2010: XX. Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen.
  • R895 - Mendel, B., Sonntag, N., Wahl, J., Schwemmer, P., Dries, H., Guse, N., M?ller S. and Garthe, S. 2008. Profiles of seabirds and waterbirds of the German North and Baltic Seas: Distribution, ecology and sensitivities to human activities within the marine environment. Bundesamt fu?r Naturschutz, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany.
  • R1362 - European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (in prep) Population and trend data provided by the EU Member States in the frame of their reporting under Article 12 of the EU Birds Directive. Online fact sheets. European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, Paris. URL: http://bd.eionet.europa.eu/activities/Reporting/Article_12/Reports_2013/Member_State_Deliveries. Accessed on 31 July 2014.
  • R1352 - Aunins, A., Nilsson, L., Hario, M., Garthe, S., Dagys, M., Pedersen, I.K., Skov, H., Lehikoinen, A., Mikkola-Roos, M., Ranft, S., Stipniece, A., Luigujoe, L., Kuresoo, A., Meissner, W. and Korpinen, S. 2013. Abundance of waterbirds in the wintering season. HELCOM Core Indicator Report. URL: http://www.helcom.fi/Core%20Indicators/HELCOM-CoreIndicator_Abundance_of_waterbirds_in_the_wintering_season.pdf.
  • R1349 - Laursen, K., Blew, J., Eskildsen, K., GĂĽnther, K., Hälterlein, B., Kleefstra, R., LĂĽerĂźen, G., Potel, P., Schrader, S. 2010. Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1987- 2008. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No.30. Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Joint Monitoring Group of Migratory Birds in the Wadden Sea, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
  • R1381 - Nagy, S., Flink, S., Langendoen, T. (2014) Waterbird trends 1988-2012: Results of trend analyses of data from the International Waterbird Census in the African-Eurasian Flyway. Wetlands International, Ede.
  • R1521 - SOVON in litt., 2014
  • R1549 - BirdLife International 2015. European Red List of Birds. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. http://datazone.birdlife.org/info/euroredlist
  • R1548 - Wetlands International (2017) Flyway trend analyses based on data from the African-Eurasian Waterbird Census from the period of 1967-2015. Ede, The Netherlands: Wetlands International. Temporary URL: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r76f4eyuhzu65co/AADzzQkhySsUDsmwFJUcHs91a?dl=0


  • S5580 - 187: Numbers in Danish waters decreased from 800,000 to 370,000 between 1990 and 2000.
  • S8124 - Skov et al. 2011. 515,000 in Baltic Sea 2007-2009. Mendel et al. 2008. 170,000-230,000 in the Wadden Sea.
  • S5584 - 899. 515,000 in Baltic Sea 2007-2009. / 905. 170,000-230,000 in the Wadden Sea.
  • S8266 - Ekroos et al. reported 291,850 breeding pairs (i.e. c. 875,550 individuals) for DE, DK, EE, FI, NL, NO, SE, which shows a good agreement with the non-breeding numbers they reported. National breeding numbers reported to the Birds Directive Art. 12 process add up to a similar number of 174,301-270,002 pairs without Norway.
  • T6266 - At the flyway scale, total numbers of breeding pairs decreased by 48% during 2000–2009 according to Ekroos et al. (2012). The Birds Directive Art. 12 reporting indicates similar (47-66%) decline. According to Ekroos et al. (2012). Overall short-term population level trend based on mid-winter counts is stable/fluctuating (Nagy et al. 2014, SOVON in litt., 2014). National wintering numbers increased in the Baltic Sea, but decreased in the Wadden Sea. This is also confirmed by Aunins et al. (2013) and Laursen et al. (2010).
  • S9058 - The estimate is based on wintering numbers from Ekroos et al. (2012). The CSR6 estimate has erroneously included 46,500 wintering birds from Norway, which should have been allocated to the Norway & Russia population. Ekroos et al. reported 276,850 breeding pairs (i.e. c. 830,550 individuals) for DE, DK, EE, FI, NL, SE. BirdLife International (2015) reports 197,305 - 293,011 breeding pairs and 575,006 - 631,871 wintering individuals. The difference in wintering numbers is mainly caused by the hugen difference in numbers reported from DK: 500,000 individuals in Ekroos et al. (2012) and 140,000 Individuals in BirdLife International (2015) for the same year 2008.
  • T6958 - IWC data shows increase/recovery after 2010 and a very fluctuating but overall stable long-term trend (Wetlands International 2017). See the discussion of these results in comparison with Ekroos et al. (2012) and BrdLife International (2015) in Wetlands International (2017).

Copyright Wetlands International 2012

Citation: Wetlands International (). "Waterbird Population Estimates" . Retrieved from wpe.wetlands.org on