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What is a bird atlas?

The nesting avifauna of Vaasa was surveyed during 2005 through to 2008. The survey area covered the entirety of Vaasa City. The avifauna was recorded based on incident investigation procedures. Assessments on abundance were not conducted, but rather breeding areas, in blocks with a total area of 1 km², were determined. Based on the recorded data, the Vaasa Bird Atlas was complied, including species maps for every type of breeding bird. In addition to this accumulated data, estimations regarding birdlife abundance or rarity within the area can be made. For example a chaffinch and great tit can be observed as very common birds in Vaasa. More rare birds investigated during 2005 through to 2008 , such as the bohemian waxwing, black redstart and woodlark.

Observations indicating nesting bohemian waxwing was recorded less than ten times in Vaasa during 2005-2008. Photo Jan Nyman.

During recent years, the general plan for Vaasa in 2030 has been completed. In conjunction with the plan, it was decided to survey the Vaasa avifauna as part of an environmental assessment. With use of the avifauna, it was possible to locate areas of biological diversity in the city while simultaneously collecting comparative data for future surveys. This was to be used in general planning, for which the avifauna itself functions as an indicator of biodiversity.

A survey of the incidence of bird species in Vaasa had been conducted earlier in 1990, by the Merenkurkun Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society. In addition to this, the avifauna in the Vaasa archipelago, as well as the occurrence of individual species in the area, has been surveyed.

The 2005 to 2008 survey was also a part of basic nature information gathered in the Vaasa City area. Birds are an important indicator species of our living environment, biodiversity and environmental changes. Because of this, the information regarding the avifauna lends itself well to the needs of land use planning as well as general planning, when attempting to create ecologically sustainable solutions. Considering and attending to the needs of the breeding bird areas ensures a more extensive and strengthened biodiversity status in Vaasa City.


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Lahti, T., Keskinen, A., Lukkarinen, T., Pahtamaa, T. & Seppälä, H. 1990.

Merenkurkun linnusto. Siipipeili, 10-vuotisjuhlajulkaisu 1990.

Väisänen, R., A., Lammi, E. & Koskimies, P.

1998. Muuttuva pesimälinnusto. Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. Helsinki 1998.

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