European wild bird indicators, 2008 update

In 2008, the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) has produced already the fourth update of the European wild bird indicators. This report summarizes the set of head indicators as well as describes computation methods and data.

Reliable European indices were produced for 135 species in 2008. Despite the fact the national monitoring coordinators have provided data on more, 244 species, the data on many species were unfortunately too poor to produce the European indices of a standard high quality.
The data come from 21 countries including data from new scheme in Bulgaria started in 2004. Moreover, compared to last year, Estonia provided data over the larger time period (1983 - 2006).
The countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
For individual European species indices see.

The procedure of European species indices computation is hierarchical.
Individual national species indices are produced by annually operated national breeding bird schemes spanning different time periods. Currently 21 European countries of those that are involved in the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) network provided their national indices. These national species indices are computed using 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). The national indices are weighted by estimates of national population sizes (derived from Birds in Europe 2 (2004)) when they are combined into supranational species indices (regional or European indices). Weighting allows for the fact that different countries hold different proportions of each species´ European population. 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.
For details of data used and computation procedure see.
The computation methods are also described in papers from Van Strien et al. (2001) and Gregory et al. (2005).

Indicators (multi-species indices) are a geometric mean of the set of individual or supranational species indices. By using the geometric mean, the species are weighted equally in the indicators. In case, the species indices are provided for a time period of a different lenght, the chain method is used in the indicator computation

Species habitat classification
Species habitat classification for main habitat types have been produced 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.
For indicators computation, we used either species habitat classification on a regional level (BioGeo regional species habitat classification) or we linked together these regional species habitat characteristics to set up a single European species habitat classification.

Here we bring the overview of main European and regional indicators produced in 2008 in the tables.
For the complete information on a indicator (graph, list of species and list of countries), click on a indicator name in the table.
For the list of species only, click on a number in the No. of species column.
For the list of countries only, click on a name of region in the Region column.
For drawing and comparing graphs for several indicators at once, tick a check box at left side of a indicator name and click on a button "Show graphs for selected indicators" below the table to confirm and proceed your selection.

In 2012, we modified the presentation of indicator´s graph which influenced the older articles on the indicators. In this article, at each graph of the indicator, List of species and their trends (above the graph) shows only the simple list of species, and the information on the trend clasification and base year is not available. Similarly, the numbers of species in each indicator (below the graph) is missing. Both information is available only in the newest version of the indicators.

Common bird indicators, Europe, single European species habitat classification

IndicatorRegionTime periodNo. of
All common birdsEurope1980-2006135-10
Common farmland birdsEurope1980-200636-48
Common forest birdsEurope1980-200629-9

Common bird indicators, EU, single European species habitat classification

IndicatorRegionTime periodNo. of
All common birdsEU1980-2006135-11
Common farmland birdsEU1980-200636-50
Common forest birdsEU1980-200629-9
Common farmland birdsNew EU1982-200625-29
Common farmland birdsOld EU1980-200634-47

Regional common bird indicators, single European species habitat classification

IndicatorRegionTime periodNo. of
Common farmland birdsCentral & East Europe1982-200623-36
Common forest birdsCentral & East Europe1982-2006260
Common farmland birdsNorth Europe1980-200613-50
Common forest birdsNorth Europe1980-200623-29
Common farmland birdsSouth Europe1989-200633-25
Common forest birdsSouth Europe1989-200619-22
Common farmland birdsWest Europe1980-200622-53
Common forest birdsWest Europe1980-2006264

Regional common bird indicators, BioGeo regional species habitat classification

IndicatorRegionTime periodNo. of
Common farmland birdsCentral & East Europe1982-200620-29
Common forest birdsCentral & East Europe1982-2006312
Common farmland birdsNorth Europe1980-200612-48
Common forest birdsNorth Europe1980-200617-23
Common farmland birdsSouth Europe1989-200642-11
Common forest birdsSouth Europe1989-200630-16
Common farmland birdsWest Europe1980-200625-35
Common forest birdsWest Europe1980-2006293

a) Trend - change (in %) in an index value between the first and last year of a time period

The success of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme owes much to the co-operation, goodwill and expertise of the PECBMS network.

Above all, very special thanks to the many thousands of skilled volunteer counters responsible for data collection.

Many thanks go to the individuals and organisations responsible for national data collation from volunteers and further data analysis: Norbert Teufelbauer, Michael Dvorak, Christian Vansteenwegen, Anne Weiserbs, Jean-Paul Jacob, Anny Anselin, Thierry Kinet, Anotoine Derouaux, Svetoslav Spasov, Jiří Reif, Henning Heldbjerg, Michael Grell, Andres Kuresoo, Jaanus Elts, Risto A. Väisänen, Fréderic Jiguet, Johannes Schwarz, Martin Flade, Tibor Szep, Olivia Crowe, Dick Coombes, Lorenzo Fornasari, Elisabetta de Carli, Ainars Aunins, Ruud P. B. Foppen, Magne Husby, Przemek Chylarecki, Dagmara Jawinska, Geoff Hilton, Ana Meirinho, Juan Carlos del Moral, Ramón Martí, Virginia Escandell, Åke Lindström, Sören Svensson, Hans Schmid, David G. Noble, Mike Raven, Andrew Joys. The national data providers helped not only with data provision but also with many valuable comments.

Arco Van Strien and Adriaan Gmelig Meyling contributed with final data analysis and computation procedure. Zdeněk Vermouzek and Tomáš Telenský helped with data management, TT also with this web presentation.

We also thank to Richard Gregory, Zoltan Waliczky, Ian Burfield, Grégoire Lois, Lukáš Viktora, Lucie Hošková, Norbert Schaffer, David W. Gibbons, Nicola Crockford, Jose Tavares, Sergi Herrando, Dominique Richard and Anne Teller for valuable comments and help with data collation, analysis and for general support.

The project is a common initiative of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) and BirdLife International.
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 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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