Rottum island wildlife report

This video says about itself:

Two different Richard’s Pipits (Anthus richardi), probably a pair, plus breeding habitat (foreground) near Zerleg, Khovsgol Aimag, Mongolia, July 2009.

The wardens of desert island Rottum in the Netherlands report about the past months.

Translated from the report:

Ahead of the official reporting (and provisionally!) we can report that we recorded 140 species of birds during our stay. Probably no new species for Rottumeroog, but some (personal) highlights, such as Richard’s pipit, crane, crossbill, common rosefinch, Caspian tern, sea eagle, goosander and white-bellied brent goose. At least 30 species of birds nested, including no fewer than nine species on the red list!


The same prolonged cold also resulted in insect life beginning late. Only during the last two weeks of our stay we recorded significant numbers of butterflies. We found three species on the red list. On August 1, we found a new species for Rottumeroog: the silver-washed fritillary (red list status; extinct in the Netherlands). The Niobe fritillary, a few individuals, was seen for the first time since 2000 and the grayling seemed, despite a shaky start, to still fly around on Rottumeroog in considerable numbers in late July.


The development of vegetation was slow this spring. We recorded at least one new species: bugleweed.

The report also mentions that gray lag geese laid the first bird eggs of the island this year, already before 8 April. 2013 was a successful year for Rottum gray lag geese nests.

Spoonbills had a reasonable succesful nesting season as well. On Schiermonnikoog island, scores of spoonbills died this summer from still mysterious causes. On the Rottum archipelago, that problem was not so big. Only one (adult) dead spoonbill was found, on Zuiderduin islet. It will be investigated about what caused its death.

Rottum and the 5 December 2013 storm: here.

Rottum warden’s house removed after storm: here. Plans for new warden’s house: here.

14 thoughts on “Rottum island wildlife report

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