The Dutch Wadden Sea is of international importance for Common Eiders Somateria mollissima, with between 102,000 and 173,000 individuals spending the winter there. In the winter of 1999/2000, beached bird surveys detected a mass mortality event, with the numbers recovered being 3.3-12.8 times higher than the longterm monthly averages. It was estimated that 21,000 eiders died during the winter. The


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