The report summarizes the activities of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) from July 2012 to December 2012. Due to funding uncertainties, we focused our work on maintaining the core activities and securing funding for the PECBMS. Nevertheless, we have started to collect national data for the next update of PECBMS outputs. Updated European species trends and indicators are expected to be published in June 2013.
Use of PECBMS outputs in policy and public awareness
Based on PECBMS updated European species trends and indicators, which were published in June 2012, BirdLife International has published a press release pointing to alarming decline of common farmland birds in Europe. The press release with a title ´300 million farmland birds lost since 1980´ was published also at the EBCC web site and received wide attention of media across Europe. European common bird indicators have been provided for policy or public awareness purposes in five other cases. PECBMS has also provided expertise on farmland bird indicators within the new Rural development plans of the EU.
Collation of new national indices for the next data update
The collation of new national indices (up to 2011) is in progress since September 2012. We believe to increase our geographical and species coverage by including data from a new country (Romania), and several other species. The publication of the new European indices and indicators for the time period until 2011 is planned in June 2013.
Use of PECBMS data in research
The PECBMS has cooperated actively on three projects with researchers from 1. the University of East Anglia, Norfolk (UK), 2. with Museum of Natural History in Paris (France) and Joint Research Centre (European Commission) and 3. with Copenhagen University (Denmark). While in first two projects the work on data is still going on, in latter case, we expect final version of the manuscript of a scientific paper to be ready soon.
Assistance to countries
Assistance to coordinators of national monitoring schemes has been ongoing task of the PECBMS. Apart of existing guidelines, methodological documents and publications (e.g. Best Practice Guide), PECBMS coordination team has provided advice upon request. For instance, we provided advice to the monitoring scheme in Spain and Greece on calculation of indicators and on a use of BirdStats software. Technical help with databases and TRIM has been also provided to Bulgaria, Romania and Belarus. Assistance also included comments on manuscript produced by Nordic countries.
PECBMS has continued to contribute to the project Birds in Europe 3, the project coordinator gave a talk at a conference for co-workers of the monitoring scheme in Catalonia and reported to the EBCC Board at its meeting in Romania (October 2012).
Funding and project management
In September 2012, we have delivered the final report from the last DEBI grant (Delivering European Bird Indicators, July 2009 - June 2012). The project was supported by the European Commission and the RSPB within last three years. Unfortunately, no further funding has been available since July 2012, therefore the PECBMS has reduced its activities temporarily. However, there are positive signals that further funding could be available since July 2013.
We are grateful to all who have contributed to the project, particularly coordinators of national or regional monitoring schemes, BirdLife Partners and EBCC national delegates.
Our thanks go to thousands of volunteer ornithologists across Europe as well!
Great help in data analysis and development of new tools is provided by Arco van Strien, Adriaan Gmelig Meyling, Tom van der Meij, and Tomáš Telenský.
Members of the Steering and Technical Group, Richard Gregory, David Noble, Ruud Foppen, Arco van Strien, Ian Burfield and Zdeněk Vermouzek, contributed by many valuable suggestions and comments. We also thank to Adrian Oates, Sue Robinson, Nick Folkard, Ruth Sharman and Norbert Schäffer for their help and support.
The PECBMS is a joint project of the European Bird Census Council and BirdLife International, supported by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Project coordinator: Petr Voříšek, PECBMS, Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257212465, e-mail: EuroMonitoringbirdlife.cz.
Technical assistant: Jana Škorpilová, PECBMS, Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257212465, email: skorpilovabirdlife.cz.
Project manager: Richard Gregory, Head of Species Monitoring and Research, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL, United Kingdom, e-mail: richard.gregoryrspb.org.uk