Predator management in the Wadden Sea to protect coastal birds

To counteract the predation pressure on the Halligen of Oland and Langeneß, we carry out predator management measures at the Oland dam between mainland and Halligen.

Measures to protect ground breeding coastal birds on the Halligen of Oland and Langeneß

Since 2013, an increasing and regular occurrence of larger predators like red fox or raccoon dog is documented on Oland during the breeding season. Since 2019, this is also true for Langeneß.

Coming from the mainland, the animals use the Oland dam to reach the Halligen. Between 2006 and 2010, the dam was reinforced raising its level resulting in stronger sedimentation and increased growth of the salt marsh. Since then, a growing number of mammalian predators is visiting the Halligen.

The Halligen are an important breeding habitat for ground-nesting coastal bird species. Among these are gulls, terns or spoonbills. The presence of predators has drastically reduced the breeding success of these species.

Halligen like Oland and Langeneß offer ideal conditions to be kept predator-free. Predator management is carried out every year between 1 March and 31 July and includes deterrence measures as well as hide hunt. During this period, the Oland dam is daily watched between 3 p.m. and 9 a.m. of the following day in three shifts from a mobile raised hide. Aim is to deter or remove any predator.

The raised hide is located halfway along the dam near the fox barrier. The built-in barrier is intended to prevent predators from reaching the Halligen.