WI - Cormorant Research Group The Group - Contacts published on 05 Marche 2001


The newly established Cormorant Research Group became official in October 1993 when it was awarded Wetlands International research group status. To date, the Group has mainly comprised individuals interested in research, conservation and management aspects of the European cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo. However, the Group decided to expand its scope and activities at its third European meeting in Gdansk (Poland) in April 1993, there having been previous meetings at Falsterbo (Sweden) in 1985 and Lelystad (The Netherlands) in 1989. As the number of European cormorants P. c. sinensis increases dramatically there is great concern amongst governmental and non-governmental organisations due to the belief, in some quarters, that cormorants cause substantial losses to human fisheries. The need for an integrated approach with respect to research, conservation and management for cormorants is therefore considered to be both timely and necessary. The Group will provide a forum for discussion about different topics like research, conservation and management, will disseminate information and will respond to requests for advice, where possible.


As is the case with other Wetlands International research groups, the Cormorant Research Group is open to individuals or institutes who are actively involved or interested in any aspect of cormorant biology or ecology, including the impact of these birds on fisheries. Professional and amateur workers, including ornithologists, conservationists and fishery scientists, are welcome. The Group has already produced a comprehensive leaflet with its background and aims, available from the address below. Although initially focused on P. carbo, the group has expressed the feeling that cormorants world-wide are to be covered by its activities. The population expansion observed for P. c. sinensis in Europe is paralleled by a similarly spectacular population growth of the double-crested cormorant P. auritus in the new world. Combining knowledge and experiences of the biology of these species, and their perceived impact on fisheries, from both sides of the Atlantic would appear to be useful to all concerned. By contrast, several species of cormorants are rare and endangered. The establishment of the Cormorant Research Group may be of help in stimulating research on these and other cormorant species around the world.


The Group will be co-ordinated by Mennobart R. van Eerden from the Directorate General Rijkswaterstaat in The Netherlands, who has studied P. c. sinensis in Europe for over ten years now. Jeff S. Kirby, Head of research at The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust will function as Assistant Coordinator. Other officers may be nominated in due course but it is the aim of the Group not to become too big too soon, but to reassess the need for more helpers periodically. The structure of the Group will therefore evolve and will become clearer over the coming months.

Much will depend on the reactions of the people interested!