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The brochure State of Europe´s Common Birds 2008 published

A new PECBMS report ´The State of Europe´s Common Birds 2008´ was published in June 2009.

The brochure presents the population trends of 135 common bird species, as well as multi-species indices (indicators), based on data collected from 21 European countries, covering the period 1980-2006. With more countries contributing their data, and improvements in data quality control, the results are now more representative and more precise than before.

Of the 135 species covered, 36 have increased moderately and one strongly, 53 have declined moderately and two steeply, while 29 have remained stable. In only 14 cases do species trends remain uncertain.

The latest set of wild bird indicators shows that common birds as a whole are still in moderate decline in Europe. Average population levels have fallen by 10% over the last 26 years. The numbers of common farmland birds have on average fallen by 48%. Although the decline appears to have levelled off in recent years, Europe has still lost half of its farmland birds in the last quarter of a century. The numbers of common forest birds have declined on average by 9%, but there are regional differences.

Over the last few years, the indicators produced by PECBMS have been used increasingly widely for policy purposes, both at European and national levels, illustrating the relevance of the indicators. For example, the Farmland Bird Indicator (FBI) has been adopted by the EU as a Structural Indicator, a Sustainable Development Indicator, and a baseline indicator for monitoring the implementation of the Rural Development Regulation under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Furthermore, SEBI2010 (Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators), a pan-European initiative led by the European Environment Agency, has also incorporated the wild bird indicators in a set of 26 indicators to assess progress towards the European target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010.

Individual species trends and full set of PECBMS indicators can be also found on the EBCC web site. Follow the links for indices and indicators.

Electronic version of the brochure is available for download here, hard copies on request at the project coordinator Petr Voříšek (EuroMonitoring at birdlife.cz).

6 July 2009

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