European wild bird indicators 2007 update

This report is the third update of European wild bird indicators produced by Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS). The report contains main outputs in form of graphs as well as data and methods descriptions.

Trend information was derived from annually operated national breeding bird surveys spanning different periods from 20 European countries, obtained through the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) . A software package named TRIM (which allows for missing counts in the time series and yields unbiased yearly indices and standard errors using Poisson regression) (Pannekoek & van Strien 2001) was used to calculate national species´ indices and then to combine these into supranational indices for species, weighted by estimates of national population sizes. Weighting allows for the fact that different countries hold different proportions of each species´ European population. Updated population size estimates were used for weighting, derived from BirdLife International (2004). Although national schemes differ in count methods in the field, these differences do not influence the supranational results because the indices are standardised before being combined. An improved hierarchical imputation procedure was used to calculate supranational indices. For description of computation method see Van Strien et al. (2001) and Gregory et al. (2005). For details of data used and computation procedure, see.
Species characteristic for main habitat types have been classified using improved procedure accepted at the PEBCMS workshop in Prague in 2005. This procedure is based on species classification within four main biogeographical regions, Atlantic, Boreal, Continental and Mediterranean. For details on species classification see.

National monitoring coordinators provided data on 224 species, however, data on many species were poor that European index could not be produced. Finally, reliable European index was produced on 124 species. The data come from 20 countries including data from new scheme in Portugal. The countries are: Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy. Data from Estonia are old data from the first PECBMS attempt to produce European indices and cover limited number of species and time period (until 2000).

Overview of main European and regional indicators:

Common bird indicator, Europe
indicator period number of species Trend (%)a)
Common farmland birds 1980-2005 33 - 44
Common forest birds 1980-2005 28 - 9
All common birds 1980-2005 124 - 14

Common bird indicator, EU
indicatorperiod number of species Trend (%)a)
Common farmland birds 1980-2005 33 - 44,5
Common forest birds 1980-2005 27 - 9,5
All common birds 1980-2005 123 - 15

Common farmland bird indicator, EU
indicator period number of species Trend (%)a)
Old EU 1980-2005 33 - 41
New EU 1982-2005 23 - 26

Boreal forest bird indicator
indicator period number of species Trend (%) a)
Boreal forest birds 1980-2005 14 - 29

Regional farmland bird indicators, European species classification
indicator period number of species Trend (%) a)
North Europe 1980-2005 13 -38
West Europe 1980-2005 23 -50
South Europe 1989-2005 33 -16
Central/East Europe 1982-2005 23 -36

Regional forest bird indicators, European species classification
indicator period number of species Trend (%)a)
North Europe 1980-2005 22 -31
West Europe 1980-2005 26 +1
South Europe 1989-2005 25 -35
Central/East Europe 1982-2005 21 -2

Regional farmland bird indicator, bio-geo regional species classification
indicator period number of species Trend (%) a)
North Europe (Boreal) 1980-2005 12 - 38
West Europe (Atlantic) 1980-2005 25 - 32
South Europe (Mediterranean) 1989-2005 41 - 3
Central/East Europe (Continental) 1982-2005 20 - 37

Regional forest bird indicators, bio-geo regional species classification
indicator period number of species Trend (%) a)
North Europe (Boreal) 1980-2005 15 - 24
West Europe (Atlantic) 1980-2005 30 + 4
South Europe (Mediterranean) 1989-2005 29 - 22
Central/East Europe (Continental) 1982-2005 34 + 6

a) Trend - change (in %) in an index value between the first and last year of a time period (Long-term trend - over the period 1980-2005, Short-term trend - over the period 1990-2005).

The success of this project owes much to the co-operation, goodwill and expertise of the PECBMS network. Special thanks go to the individuals and organisations responsible for national data collation and analysis, and to the many thousands of skilled volunteer counters responsible for data collection. Special thanks to the data providers & organisations responsible for national data collection and analysis: Norbert Teufelbauer, Michael Dvorak, Christian Vansteenwegen, Anne Weiserbs, Jean-Paul Jacob, Anny Anselin, Thierry Kinet, Anotoine Derouaux, Jiri Reif, Karel Stastny, Henning Heldbjerg, Michael Grell, Andres Kuresoo, Risto A. Väisänen, Fréderic Jiguet, Johannes Schwarz, Martin Flade, Tibor Szep, Olivia Crowe, Lorenzo Fornasari, Elisabetta de Carli, Ainars Aunins, Ruud P. B. Foppen, Magne Husby, Przemek Chylarecki, Dagmara Jawinska, Geoff Hilton, Juan Carlos del Moral, Ramón Martí, Virginia Escandell, Åke Lindström, Sören Svensson, Hans Schmid, Andrew Joys, David G. Noble, Mike Raven, and Andrew Joys. We also thank Arco Van Strien, Adriaan Gmelig Meyling, Ian Burfield, Ruud Foppen, David Noble, Zoltan Waliczky , Lukas Viktora, Lucie Hoskova, Norbert Schaffer, Adrian Oates, David Gibbons, Jose Tavares, Henk Sierdsema, Sergi Herrando, Dominique Richard, Grégoire Lois, Pierre Nadin, Laure Ledoux, and Anne Teller for valuable comments and for general support.
The project has been supported by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB), the BirdLife International Partner in the UK. Since January 2006 the project has been supported by the European Community. Sole responsibility lies with the author and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained in this document.
Other significant partners of the project 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 EBCC and BirdLife European Partnership.

Van Strien, A.J. Pannekoek, J. & Gibbons, D.W. 2001. Bird Study 48: 200-213.
Pannekoek, J. & Van Strien, A. 2001. TRIM 3.0 for Windows (Trends & Indices for Monitoring data). Statistics Netherlands, Voorburg.
BirdLife International. 2004. Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 12).
Gregory, R.D., van Strien, A.J., Vorisek, P., Gmelig Meyling, A.W., Noble, D.G., Foppen, R.P.B. & Gibbons, D.W. 2005. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 360: 269-288.


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