ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Water fowl

All year around, the Rhine is habitat to many water fowl. From Lake Constance to the Rhine Delta the Rhine is equally an important rest and wintering area for water fowl.

On average, the Rhine valley hosted over 1.1 million native waterbirds belonging to 70 species during the winters 2015/16 to 2017/18, of which 25 species were found in internationally significant populations (i.e. >1 % of the biogeographical population). Comparing the population figures between six river sections, it becomes clear that the lake ecosystems of Lake Constance, IJsselmeer, Markermeer and Randmeren, as well as the river sections of the Rhine, each host about half of the waterbirds. The seasonal occurrence of the individual species varies considerably, which is due to different wintering strategies and the different geographical location of the individual parts of the Rhine valley.

The most abundant species group along the Rhine are the ducks and coots, followed by the swans and geese. Ducks dominate in the southern part of the Rhine and coot make up the waterfowl community, in the north ducks/coot as well as swans and geese are similarly common.

Learn more about waterfowl on the Rhine and read the ICPR technical report no. 277.

Did you know ...

that the Rhine serves as guiding line for birds of passage such as cranes?