All posts by klvanova

Miniworkshop on wild bird indicators 2019

On 11–12th March a miniworkshop dedicated to wild bird indicators took place in Solsona, Spain. The Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) hosted more than 20 experts in bird monitoring thanks kind invitation from Lluís Brotons.

On Monday we discussed the new forest bird indicator. We suggested to produce two types of indicators – General forest bird indicator and Mature forest bird indicator. We also agreed to apply more objective, trait-based approach to species selection which was presented by Simon Butler. We identified future steps to be done to develop the new forest bird indicators and we will present them on PECBMS workshop in Evora.

On Tuesday we discussed possible future development of farmland bird indicator and other indicators such as Montane bird indicator, Mire bird indicator or Urban bird indicator on European and national scale.

On Wednesday EBBA2 meeting organized by Aleksi Lehikonen took place. We discussed potential research projects using EBBA2 data.


Discussions in CTFC.


The workshop took place in a wonderful countryside near Solsona.


Lunch in a local restaurant.


During the breaks there was also some time for birdwatching.

New leaflet “State of common European breeding birds 2018”

In March we have produced new leaflet presenting the trends of 170 common European bird species based on data from 28 countries covering 37 years (1980–2016). The leaflet summarises outputs of this 2018 data update and presents a nice example of use of bird monitoring and atlasing in species conservation. PECBMS and EBBA2 data on the European Turtle-dove helped to identify Prioroty Intervention Areas for this species.

You may download the pdf version of the leaflet.

Of the 170 species covered, in long-term 52 increased moderately, 65 declined moderately and one steeply, while 46 remained stable. In six cases the species´trends remained uncertain.

Of the 170 species, only 168 are included in the common bird indicators for Europe and EU. The Cyprus wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) and Cyprus warbler (Sylvia melanothorax) have been excluded as they are endemic species for Cyprus.

All common species (168 sp.) declined by 15 % since 1980, common forest birds (34 sp.) declined by 6 % and the worst decline continued in common farmland birds (39 sp.), of which we have lost 57 % since 1980.


European wild bird indicators. The numbers in italics show the numbers of species in each indicator which are moderately or steeply declining, moderately or strongly increasing, stable and ucertain.

Bird monitoring and atlasing is helpful in the identification of threats and also in steering conservation actions: using the data collected for the Second European Breeding Bird Atlas (EBBA2), experts modelled probability of European Turtle-dove occurrence in Europe on 10×10 km grid. The map was then used to identify Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs) (Herrando et al. 2018), which indicate where conservation interventions might be best directed.


Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs) for European Turtle-dove. Intensity of green colour indicates modelled probability of species occurence.

We thank to

the thousands of skilled volunteer counters responsible for data collation;

Arco van Strien, Adriaan Gmelig Meyling and Tom van der Meij (Statistics Netherlands), Jana Škorpilová and Maaike de Jong who contributed with final data analysis and computation procedure;

Richard D. Gregory, Mark Eaton and Carles Carboneras for their help and valuable comments on the leaflet;

Jiří Bartoš (bartosphoto.cz), Martin Mesnarowski (photomecan.eu), Ondřej Prosický (naturephoto.cz) and Zdeněk Jakl (500px.com/zdenekjakl) for their beautiful photos which they provided for this leaflet;

Anne Teller, Richard D. Gregory, Ruud P. B. Foppen, David G. Noble and Zdeněk Vermouzek for help and general support.

If you wish, ask for the printed version of the leaflet via e-mail: klvanova@birdlife.cz. We apologize for a mistake in the printed version of the leaflet. In the legend for the graph of wild bird indicators there are the colours for the common species and farmland species confused. All common birds should be in blue and farmland birds should be in red. We are very sorry for this inconvenience! The pdf for download is corrected.

You may read more on PECBMS website.

PECBMS workshop on EBCC conference 2019

Do you plan to attend our workshop dedicated to the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme in Bird Numbers 2019 conference? Here is the programme!

The workshop will take place on Friday 12th of April, 6–7.30 PM in the Grand auditorium (room 102).

Mainly the national coordinators of the bird monitoring schemes contributing to PECBMS will attend, but also other participants are welcome.

Aims: To inform PECBMS coordinators and wider network about progress in our work, to introduce the new tools for computation and data delivery and stimulate discussion about future plans and priorities.

You can download the final agenda of the workshop PECBMS workshop at the EBCC conference.

The 21st EBCC Conference Bird Numbers 2019 ‘Counting birds counts’ is coming!

The programme of the conference Bird Numbers 2019 is available here!

The guidelines for presentations (oral communications and posters) of the 21st EBCC Conference BIRD NUMBERS 2019, counting birds counts, is now online !

Please visit conference website for guidelines.

You can also follow us in Facebook social network.

We look forward to meeting you in 12 days in Évora!

Ruud P. B. Foppen, Chairman EBCC

João E. Rabaça, on behalf of the National Organising Committee

Bird Numbers 2019 offers a fieldtrip to Tagus Estuary

EVOA – Tagus Estuary Birdwatching and Conservation Area, Portugal – sees everyday guided tours carried out, as well as regular passerine and ducks ringing sessions. Since opening, more than 2500 birds have been ringed here, some with GPS. Every week bird counts are performed at the three lagoons within the area. Physical, chemical, and biological water parameters are also monitored to work towards increasing wetland knowhow.

Located in the heart of the most important wetland of Portugal, the Tagus Estuary Natural Reserve allows visitors to get to know and enjoy the unique heritage that exists between the floodplain and the Tagus Estuary.

Fig. 1 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
EVOA is managed by Companhia das Lezírias (www.cl.pt), and opened to the public in 2013, already having received more than 38.000 visitors, including 22.000 students integrated in environmental education activities.

Fig. 2 – Credits: EVOA
Three freshwater wetlands are integrated in EVOA, equalling a total of 70 ha. These lagoons are very important for the birdlife, being used as refuge or nesting areas.

Fig. 3 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
To guarantee tranquillity for the birds, and to maximize the visitor experience and comfort during the visitation, there are six observatories amongst the lagoons, several inconspicuous viewpoints, and a Visitor Centre.

Fig. 4 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
EVOA sees everyday guided tours carried out. Since 2018, some are performed by electric car, which can drive around up to fourteen visitors. We also have workshops and other events every month. You can follow these activities at evoa.pt or on Facebook @EVOAves.

Figs. 5a, 5b – Credits: EVOA
There are regular passerine and ducks ringing sessions, in collaboration with the Coordinator of European duck nasal marking (www.pt-ducks.com) and ICNF (The National Institute for Nature Conservation). Since 2017, we have already ringed 664 ducks, including teals, pintails, shovelers, and mallards. The first European shoveler with GPS was ringed at EVOA on October 22nd, 2017.

Fig. 6 – Credits: Jacques van Wijlick
At EVOA, the mixed colony of collared pratincole, little tern, Kentish plover, and black-winged stilt is being monitored, but counting nestlings and flying chicks is a challenging task. There is still a lot to do in this field, and this is one of the projects that has been developed by ICNF with the EVOA team’s support. Research into potential egg or nest predators (mammals) is still needed.

Fig. 7 – Credits: Pedro Colaço
Physical, chemical, and biological water parameters are also monitored to help increase wetland knowhow and to prevent waterfowl diseases, like botulism. Last year, we became part of a Erasmus project, led by The Norwegian Dokka Upper Secondary School, with three other project partners including: WWT Martin Mere and the WLI initiative (UK), the Randsfjordsmuseum (Norway), and the Urdaibai Bird Centre (Basque Country, Spain). The project, named BioWet – Biological Diversity in Wetlands, aims to develop a monitoring tool that allows students visiting wetland centres to collect and upload data, showing the impacts of climate change on local wetlands. The partners will work with their local school students to carry out survey work and develop guidelines for collecting data, as well as feeding into the design of a user-friendly web-based database that will display their information.

European bird indicators used in FAO´s report

European common bird indicators produced by the PECBMS were used in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report: The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture. The report concludes that biodiversity for food and agriculture is indispensable to food security, sustainable development and the supply of many vital ecosystem services, and further that unsustainably managed production systems are a key threat to bird species.
The EBCC’s wild bird indicators are used in a section looking at threats and trends in bird populations, alongside data from BirdLife International (page 97). You can access the full report, landing page with links to the report (English) and In brief version (EN, FR, ES, AR, ZH, RU) or the digital report.

Elections during the AGM in Évora


Dear EBCC Delegate!

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) will be held in Évora, Portugal at 14:00, on April 10, 2019, during the EBCC conference. You are all invited and encouraged to participate at this AGM and be actively involved in decision making at EBCC.

Several EBCC board members will step down this year: Ruud Foppen, David Noble, Anny Anselin, Oskars Keiss, and Lluis Brotons. The board is in contact with several candidates to fill the vacancies but any delegate may make proposals. Please note that according to the statutes the following procedures have to be followed: “Any Delegate as well as any Board member may make nominations for election to the Board. Such nominations must be made in writing, and must be in the hands of the secretary of the Board at least fourteen days before the next ordinary General Meeting. Each nomination must be proposed and seconded by two delegates and be accompanied by a signed statement of willingness to stand for election by the nominated person.” Please send your nominations to the current chair, Ruud Foppen (ruud.foppen@sovon.nl) and EBCC delegate Officer Oskars Keiss (oskars.keiss@lu.lv).
The deadline for receiving signed proposals (as described above), is March 26 (14 days before April 10).

During this AGM we will have the elections of any new National Delegates. The EBCC Board knows that some National Delegates are planning to step down and that some new candidates might need to be elected in this AGM.

It is important to hear from EVERY National Delegate whether she/he is willing to continue as the National Delegate so please answer this letter concerning your future involvement!

As you are aware, National Delegates are important contact points for monitoring and atlas work in their country and are expected to engage with EBCC through its conferences, its website or by e-mail, to provide updates on national activities from time to time, and to know something about its main projects (the Pan European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, the 2nd European Breeding Bird Atlas and the Euro Bird Portal).

If you no longer wish to be formally involved as a National Delegate, according to the Constitution of EBCC Association one or both of the existing Delegates should nominate a replacement for your country for election in Évora’s AGM in April.

The EBCC Delegate Officer can provide you with a simple form for submitting nominations. All proposed new Delegates will be reviewed by the EBCC Board and considered for election at the AGM in Évora. According to EBCC Constitution Article 4.2, “One can only apply for membership on the recommendation of an existing Delegate. New Delegates should be proposed in writing by the existing Delegate within a country, but in making such recommendations to the Board”).

Your response (and, in the case of nominating an alternative Delegate – the new nomination) should reach the EBCC Delegate Officer Oskars Keišs (oskars.keiss@lu.lv) by March 31, 2019.

More information about the upcoming EBCC conference might be found here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Oskars Keišs
EBCC Delegate Officer

March issue of the EBCC Newsletter is here!

On March 1st we have spread a new issue of our quarterly newsletter.

Did you miss some older issues? Check the EBCC e-mail newsletter archive!

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We would like to make you sure that we take care of your personal data and we protect them according to Privacy policy with regard to General data protection regulation (GDPR). We processes personal data (name and e-mail address) on the grounds of voluntary registration for EBCC e-mail newsletter. If there is something unclear regarding the protection of your personal data, please, feel free to contact us.

European wild bird indicators and Trends of common birds in Europe, 2018 update

The Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) presents a set of updated European wild bird indicators for the time period 1980-2016.

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.

We also bring updated population trends and indices of 170 common European bird species for the time period 1980-2016 that have been produced by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) in 2018. The species trends presented are for long time period (from 1980 onwards until 2016) and for last ten years (2007-2016).

What is new in 2018 data update read here.