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Board and ExCo meetings

Board and ExCo meetings

In order to constantly improve collaboration within the EBCC network, to strengthen the contact with all national delegates, and to clarify their role within EBCC, the delegates should regularly be provided with topical information. Among other things, this may include updates on EBCC contacts, general information on EBCC work and a “things to do as a delegate” list. Short captions of these points can already be found on this webpage. What was lacking so far was an overview of the activities of the Board and the topics currently under discussion in EBCC Board meetings. The posting of the EBCC Board minutes will close this gap and hopefully provide a thorough insight into EBCC’s work and profile.

Chairman´s report

Report for September 2016 – April 2019

Report for September 2013 – September 2016

Annual General Meetings (previously called Board Meetings)

Agendas of Board Meetings (previously called ExCo Meetings)

Board of the European Bird Census Council

List of the EBCC Board members elected for the period 2019-2021 and the observers of EBCC Board:

Mark Eaton

Principal Conservation Scientist – RSPB
The Lodge
SG19 2DL
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1767 693455

Verena Keller

Swiss Ornithological Institute
Seerose 1
6204 Sempach
Tel: +41 41 462 97 20

Dawn Balmer

Head of Surveys – British Trust for Ornithology
The Nunnery
IP24 2PU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 01842 750050

Chris van Turnhout

Head of Monitoring Team – Sovon
Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology
PO Box 6521
6503 GA Nijmegen
Tel: +31 24 7 410 471

Henning Heldbjerg

Delegates Officer, Bird Census News editing team
Department of Bioscience
Aarhus University
Grenåvej 14, Kalø
8410 Rønde
Mobile: +45 24273250

Mikhail Kalyakin

Zoological Museum of Moscow
Lomonosov State University
Bolshaya Nikitskaya Str., 6
125009 Moscow
Tel: +7 495 629 49 08

Danae Portolou

Communications Officer
Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS)
Themistokleous str 80
10681 Athens

Aleksi Lehikoinen

Research and Data Research Officer, Bird Census News editor
Finnish Museum of Natural History
P. Rautatiekatu 13 (P. O. Box 17)
FI-00014 Helsinki
Mobile: +358-45-1375732

Jean-Yves Paquet

Communications Officer
Birdlife Belgium
Department of Studies Namur
Walloon Region

Ainars Aunins

Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology
University of Latvia
Jelgavas iela 1
LV-1004 Riga
Mobile: +371-29470780


Iván Ramírez

Head of Conservation for Europe and Central Asia
BirdLife International
Wellbrook Court
Girton Road Cambridge
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1223 279834

Szabolcs Nagy

Senior Biodiversity Officer
Wetlands International
PO Box 471, 6700 AL
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 628 55 48 23

Alena Klvaňová

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme project manager
Czech Society for Ornithology
Na Bělidle 34
CZ-150 00 Prague 5
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 257 212 465

Gabriel Gargallo

EuroBirdPortal observer
Catalan Ornithological Institute

Sergi Herrando

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2 observer
Catalan Ornithological Institute

A new version of the EBP viewer has been launched

This new version of the viewer has been updated with 40 million new bird records collected in 2016 and now shows animated all-year round maps of 105 bird species for a period of seven years, ensuring that the EBP maintains its position as the largest and most dynamic citizen science biodiversity data flow in Europe.

New version of the EBP viewer Continue reading A new version of the EBP viewer has been launched

EBCC Board decides on avian species list

All supra-national projects coordinated by EBCC, especially EBBA2, EuroBirdPortal and PECBMS, require binding decisions on the taxonomy and nomenclature employed for the birds. This demands a classification system that is standardized, trustworthy and globally accepted, and is also likely to stand the test of time. Since the publication of the first European bird atlas in 1997, many new insights on species- and higher-level taxonomic relationships have emerged, making a change of the species list necessary. After an information gathering process, the Board had to decide on one of the two classification systems that appeared most transparent and robust in their taxonomic decisions (IOC and BirdLife/HBW). Continue reading EBCC Board decides on avian species list

Latest update of European wild bird indicators confirms continued decline of farmland birds

The latest data on European common birds, brought together by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS), shows a continued decline of European farmland birds. While the common forest birds are more or less stable over the last 10-15 years, the farmland birds show a staggering decline of 55% since 1980.

Common Farmland Bird Indicator, Europe, 2017 update

Continue reading Latest update of European wild bird indicators confirms continued decline of farmland birds

Trends of common birds in Europe, 2017 update

This report presents an updated population trends and indices of 170 common European bird species for the time period 1980-2015 that have been produced by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) in 2017. The species trends presented are for long time period (from 1980 onwards until 2015) and for last ten years (2006-2015).
Updated common bird indicators for Europe, EU and their regions for the same time period can be found in a special report.

Continue reading Trends of common birds in Europe, 2017 update

European wild bird indicators, 2017 update

The Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) presents a set of updated European wild bird indicators for the time period 1980-2015. The indicators are computed for Europe and its regions (West, North, Central & East and South Europe), and EU, New and Old EU states for common farmland, common forest, and all common birds. Both single European and BioGeo regional species habitat classification are used to assess if each bird species belongs to farmland, forest or other indicator.

Continue reading European wild bird indicators, 2017 update

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme

Project goal

The main goal of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) is to use common birds as indicators of the general state of nature using large-scale and long-term monitoring data on changes in breeding populations across Europe.

PECBMS aims are to:

  • collect data on European common bird species from national monitoring schemes and calculate European common bird indices and indicators
  • make European common bird indices and indicators available to the policy makers and promote then to public too
  • in cooperation with scietists, explore the forces driving changes in populations of common birds in Europe
  • assist to national monitoring scheme coordinators with various tasks related to monitoring methods or data calculation
  • create and keep active network of national monitoring scheme coordinators and other experts on monitoring cooperating with the PECBMS project

Why it is important to monitore common birds in Europe?

Birds are good indicators of the health of the environment and can indicate its sustainability.

Monitoring is a critical requirement in assessing the environmental policy process and effectiveness of various conservation measures and is required under various international treaties, including EU directives.

Many patterns of land use and development are affected by EU policies and it is important to measure their sustainability across Europe, including their impact on the accession countries to the EU.

Blue Tit, photo Tomáš Bělka ( Yellowhammer, photo Tomáš Bělka (

Common birds are good as indicators as they are widespread, relatively easy to identify and count, sensitive to land use and climate change, and are popular at the public. Photo by Tomáš Bělka (

Project partners and supporters

The Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme project has commenced in January 2002 as a joint initiative of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) and the BirdLife International.

Since its beginning in 2002, the PECBMS project has been supported by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, the BirdLife International Partner in the UK). Since January 2006, the project had been funded by the European Commission as well.

Other important partners are Statistics Netherlands, Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO, BirdLife International Partner in the Czech Republic), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Dutch Organisation for Field Ornithology (SOVON), and others.

How PECBMS works

PECBMS applies quite unique way of work – see the scheme below.


Project is coordinated by central coordination unit which communicates with national coordinators who run the monitoring schemes in their countries. However, counting bird in the field is performed by the volunteer counters in the countries.

PECBMS coordination unit is based at the Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO) in Prague, the Czech Republic. The unit collects national indices, produces European indices and indicators, prepares outputs for publication, communicates outputs to the public, policy makers and scientists.

Statistics Netherlands, represented by Arco van Strien, Tom van der Meij and Adriaan Gmeling Meiling, develop tools used by the PECBMS coordinators for data management and controls, and a tool for calculation of supranational indices and trends. They also provide an assistance to the PECBMS coordinators with a computation procedure. They created the programmes used by coordinators for the computation of national indices and trends (TRIM and BirdSTATs) too.

Project Steering and Technical group oversees overall performance. The group has currently 6 members who work on voluntary basis: Richard Gregory (RSPB), Arco Van Strien (Statistics Netherlands), Ruud Foppen (SOVON), David Noble (BTO), Iván Ramírez (Birdlife International) and Zdeněk Vermouzek (CSO).

Furthermore, other individuals and organisations from each country are involved in the PECBMS network. We aim each country has a representative in the PECBMS network. Currently, more than 180 individuals from more then 45 countries are on our contact list.

Eurasian Collared-dove, photo Tomáš Bělka ( Eurasian Tree Sparrow, photo Tomáš Bělka (

 Birds are better known than most other taxa. There are masses of information available on common birds and for long-time series. Data are realistic and inexpensive to collect, analyse and report, and methods of survey and analysis are proven by long-lasting monitoring schemes. Photo by Tomáš Bělka (

What data we use

PECBMS collects national data from already existing large-scale monitoring monitoring schemes in European countries which are based on fieldwork of volunteers and which have standardized methodology and formal design. The countries deliver national species indices and trends with standard errors instead of raw count data. The programme TRIM is standardly used for computation of national indices and trends.

More information on methods and national trends is in the Methods.

Currently, 28 countries contribute with data to the PECBMS: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

28 European countries contributing with data to the PECBMS in 2017.

PECBMS outputs

Common bird species indices and trends

PECBMS combines national species indices in supra-national indices for individual species for Europe, EU and their regions (New and Old EU, and West, South, North and Central & East Europe). All indices are annually updated but only European species indices and trends are published – see the latest update.

Computation procedure is described in the Methods.

Example of European indices of three species characteristic for farmland, forest and other habitat type.

Common bird indicators (multi-species composite indices)

PECBMS produces indicators for Europe, EU and their regions (New and Old EU, and West, South, North and Central & East Europe). All indicators are annually updated and published – see the latest update.

More details on the indicators and species selection can be found in the Methods.

Latest version of three main European indicators for common farmland, common forest and all common bird species. The numbers in parentheses show the numbers of species in each indicator.

Use of our outputs

In policy and environmental protection

The PECBMS indicators has been accepted as the biodiversity indicators for EU´s Structural Indicator and Indicators of Sustainable Development of the EU. National versions of the Farmland bird indicators have been also approved as the indicators for a Regulation in EU´s Rural Development Plans (Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005).

The indicators have been used by other international institutions e.g Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), or European Environment Agency (EEA), and have been also included in Living Planet Index (LPI).

More information in Use of PECBMS results.

In science

The PECBMS results has been widely used in scientific research. Till today, 19 papers has been published which cover various topics such as development of bird indicators in general, exploration of driving forces laying behind farmland or forest bird population trends, development of climate change indicator, investigation of the land-use change and its impact to farmland birds.

Download some papers which are based on the PECBMS data in Use of PECBMS results.

Based on the PECBMS data, a Climate Change Indicator has been created and it confirms that population of bird species which are predicted to be possitively influenced by climate change are already increasing, while population of species which are predicted to be negatively affected by climate change are already declining.

Rules of using the PECBMS outputs

The PECBMS is willing to provide the outputs for publication in the brochures or reports, and for the scientific research to other organisation or universities. However, the rules of using the PECBMS outputs are stated in our Data Access Policy.

For any reason of data usage, we appreciate you always contact PECBMS project coordinator or manager with your request.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, photo Tomáš Bělka ( Northern Lapwing, Photo Tomáš Bělka (
Birds are very useful to raise awareness of biodiversity issues. They can, in some circumstances at least, faithfully reflect trends in other biodiversity. Photo by Tomáš Bělka (

Other activities

Consulting activities

We assist to our co-workers and others with establishing new national monitoring schemes or improving the existing schemes. We provide advises and assistance on various methodological issues, advise how to manage the count data and how to analyse them.

PECBMS workshops

Regularly once per three years we organise workshop where all national scheme coordinators and other co-workers meet, share experiences and discuss the future development of the project.

Last PECBMS workshop was held in November 2015. Photo by Vojtěch Brlík.


  • PECBMS common bird species indices, trends and indicators are regularly published on the EBCC website – see the latest species trends and indicators.
  • We regularly publish our results in brochures (in 2005, 2007, 2008), or in leaflets (in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015).
  • Valuable advises on how to plan a monitoring scheme can be found in the Best Practice Guide. This rather thin book has been written by a group of co-authors and can give to reader various information and examples in several case studies useful for setting up a sustainable and well organised monitoring scheme.

Download all publications in our Archive.

Latest PECBMS leaflet introduces the trends of 169 common European birds and main European indicators. Download the leaflet in PDF.

Future plans

  • increase species coverage and number of countries contributing with the data
  • produce habitat specific species trends
  • produce indicators for other habitat types (inland wetlands, boreal forest, urban habitat etc.)
  • continue in using our data in scientific research and explore driving forces laying behind the trends in particular habitats or sites
  • continue in helping countries to improve existing monitoring schemes and to set new ones in countries with no sustainable monitoring at all
  • enhance usage of our outputs in policy and nature protection.

Rough-legged Buzzard, photo Tomáš Bělka ( White-throated Dipper, photo Tomáš Bělka (
In future we strive for to add new species on our list and produce indices and trends for rarer species or species covered by dedicated special monitoring schemes such as raptors, wetland birds or night birds. Photo by Tomáš Bělka (


Project manager: Petr Voříšek, e-mail:

Project coordinator: Eva Šilarová, e-mail:

Technical assistant: Alena Klvaňová, e-mail:

Research officer: Anna Gamero, e-mail:

All based at Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257 212 465.

Project supervisor: Richard Gregory, Head of Species Monitoring & Research, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, SG19 2DL, Sandy, e-mail:


Bird Census News in pdf-format