Report on the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, December 2013

The report summarizes the activities of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) from July 2013 to December 2013. We have updated European population indices and common bird indicators covering record number of species and countries. PECBMS results have been widely used for research and policy incl. international initiatives Wildlife Comeback in Europe and Red List of European Birds. New support from the European Commission will help the programme to deliver its outputs on regular basis and improve the scheme.

Publication of updated European trends, indices and indicators

In July 2013, we have published updated European and regional population trends and indices. We have increased the number of countries covered from 25 to 27 as well as the number of species – we produced reliable outputs for 163 species, thus increasing the set by 15 new species. Similarly, the multispecies indices (indicators) were updated too. The results were traditionally published at the web site and also in a form of a leaflet. Because of the budget limitations the number of copies produced was lower in 2013, however the leaflet can be downloaded in pdf.

Use of PECBMS outputs in policy and public awareness

PECBMS results, usually supranational population trends and indices or indicators, were provided to institutions or individuals for use in policy or raising public awareness. The users of the PECBMS results included for instance European Commission, OECD or Zoological Society London, in total they were provided in 16 cases for various policy and promotional purposes. We presented the PECBMS and its results at two international conferences incl. the 19th International Conference of the EBCC in Cluj (Romania).

Use of PECBMS data in research

We continue cooperating with external researchers on several studies using PECBMS data. The research include several studies, e.g. a study of an effect of climate change in population trends and generation of indicators of climate change impact, or a study using a risk assessment approach for selection of species for forest bird indicator. No paper using PECBMS data was published in the period July 2013 to December 2013, however we expect submission and hopefully also publication of some of them in forthcoming year.

PECBMS network and assistance to countries

We maintain the extensive network of cooperating organisations and individuals across Europe – there are 155 contacts from 46 countries or territories on PECBMS mailing list, incl. coordinators of national monitoring schemes, EBCC national delegates and BirdLife partner organisations as well as policy people and decision makers.
We have maintained contacts with the members of the network using various opportunities, specifically the EBCC conference in September as the main event of bird monitoring community. We have also provided assistance to coordinators of national monitoring schemes. This included for instance advice and active help with calculation of trends by TRIM/BirdStats to Cyprus, Lithuania or Belarus. Interpretation of monitoring results incl. interpretation of multispecies indices has been an issue frequently raised by national coordinators or others. Altogether, assistance was provided in 30 cases to 13 countries in the period from July to December 2013.

Cooperation in Rewilding Europe and Birds in Europe 3

PECBMS also took part in two international initiatives: Wildlife Comeback in Europe and European Red List of Birds. PECBMS has provided an expertise in calculation and interpretation of supranational trends and population indices. We will use the experience with a contribution to the project Wildlife Comeback in Europe for further increase of species set covered by PECBMS.

Funding and further plans

The PECBMS has obtained another funding support from the European Commission, which covers period from July 2013 to June 2016.

Objectives of the project are:
  • To ensure updated European wild bird indicators are produced regularly
  • To explore the expansion of the suite of indicators to other types habitats/biomes
  • To make project results available, attractive and convincing to the scientific and conservation
  • communities at the European and national levels
  • To make data flow and production of wild bird indicators more effective
  • To ensure the outputs are properly understood and interpreted

The project will deliver standard supra-national species trends and indicators and will make them available at the web site. Printed materials used so far for dissemination of the outputs will be evaluated and based on this evaluation, an approach will be modified if necessary. The CSO will be trained in using the software tool needed for calculation of supra-national species trends and indices and will ensure further calculations are done at the CSO. Faster and more effective ways of data collation will be made available to coordinators of national monitoring schemes as well as an access to data quality control tool. Current indicators as well as potential new ones will be explored considering policy relevance, data quality and interpretation.


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 Tomá¹ 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 Samuelson, Nick Folkard, Ruth Sharman and Norbert Schäffer for their help and support.

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme is a joint initiative of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) and BirdLife International. Since its beginning in 2002, the PECBMS project has been supported by the the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, the BirdLife International Partner in the UK). Since January 2006 the project has been funded by the European Commission as well.


Other important partners of the project are: Statistics Netherlands, Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO, BirdLife Partner in the Czech Republic), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Dutch Organisation for Field Ornithology (SOVON), and others.


Project coordinator: Petr Voří¹ek, PECBMS, Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257212465, e-mail:

Technical assistant: Jana ©korpilová, PECBMS, Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257212465, email:

Technical assistant (part time): Alena Klvaňová, PECBMS, Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257212465, email:

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:

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