The International Breeding Conditions Survey on Arctic Birds

The International Breeding Conditions Survey on Arctic Birds (ABBCS) is a joint venture of International Wader Study Group and Wetlands International's Goose and Swan Specialist Groups. This project aims at collating information on environmental conditions on breeding grounds of Arctic nesting birds in a persistently updated database. Analyses of data on bird numbers and breeding performance during Arctic summer in relation to climatic, predatory and other relevant factors can give insights into ecological processes acting at wide scale, and also provide valuable information for the conservation of sites and species.

The database of International Wader Study Group and Wetlands Internationalís Goose and Swan Specialist Groups accumulates simple and most up-to-date environmental information, obtained from many Arctic localities primarily by means of distributing questionnaires among Arctic field workers. Although being initially focused on waders and waterfowl and still making main emphasis on these groups due to their dominant role in most Arctic bird communities, the database now provides also for accumulation of data on other groups of Arctic terrestrial birds, as their responses to changing environment have often much in common.

Currently information is available online on bird breeding success, rodent abundance and certain weather characteristics in the Arctic in the last season 2023, and summers 1988 to 2022.

The first twelve issues of the bulletin "Arctic Birds" mainly (but not exclusively) describing bird breeding conditions in the Arctic in 1998 to 2009, respectively, can be downloaded from this site as pdf documents.

The survey developed from and primarily depends on voluntarily contribution of Arctic researchers willing to share their observations on bird breeding performance with view of creating general picture in a cooperative effort. Differences in geographic coverage among Arctic regions adversely affect a potential for synthesis from individual reports. Accordingly, every new piece of information is highly valued. Data from poorly covered localities help to fill obvious gaps, while data from areas with some coverage allow to evaluate bird breeding conditions there with higher detail. Therefore we encourage all visitors of the Arctic, not necessarily ornithologists or biologists, to join the survey by filling up questionnaires. Forms can be obtained from the downloaded, or requested as a paper copy or electronically from any of the addresses below. In case of getting electronic form you can also return it by e-mail to after entering the necessary data. We would greatly appreciate feed-back and completed forms from Arctic researches and other visitors of Arctic regions.

More information is available from project coordinators.