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Report on the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, June 2014

The report summarizes the activities of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) from January 2014 to June 2014. New update of European species population trends and indices as well as common bird indicators were the most important achievements in the reporting period (January to June 2014). Work towards improvements of the indicators, particularly the farmland bird indicator, has commenced and it is expected to bring results next year. PECBMS outputs has been used for policy and research purposes. Interest in PECBMS data among external researchers has continuously increased, thus we plan to increase our capacity by hiring a research officer.

Update of European trends, indices and indicators

In June 2014, we have published updated European population trends and indices. As in the previous year, we analysed data from 27 European countries and produced reliable outputs for 163 species. This year we modified the presentation of species trends: newly, we present long-term trends (trends for long time period) and ten-year trends (trends for last ten years). Further effort will be needed in order to increase number of species and geographical coverage in future. The multispecies indices (indicators) were updated too. For the first time, the computation process was completely and independently performed by the PECBMS coordination team, however experts from the Statistics Netherlands still act as supervisors for computation process and are available for the PECBMS team if needed. The results were published at the web site only. Other ways of publication (both for promotional and scientific purposes) are subject of revision and careful analyses of target group needs (based on responses to questionnaires distributed to our target groups), thus no further publication is expected until new publication policy is approved in 2015.

Improvements in national FBI

Common bird indicators, particularly the farmland bird indicators, are very important outputs produced by PECBMS. Although well established as the indicator of biodiversity, the farmland bird indicator at national level deserve further improvements. We have started analysing the existing national versions of FBI and working on alternative ways of benchmarking the countries. For obtaining all the information on various versions of FBI used in countries contributing to the PECBMS, we distributed a questionnaire among 27 national coordinators exploring their approaches to production of national FBI, potential problems and future aims. Our analysis of national FBI will continue in the next project period. Final discussion document containing a proposal for next generation of national FBI produced by PECBMS as well as a list of recommendations for the coordinators is expected to be presented to the PECBMS network next year.

Use of PECBMS outputs in policy, public awareness and research

We provided supranational outputs to various institutions or individuals for use in policy or raising public awareness or for research purposes (see also Use of PECBMS results). We continue cooperating with external researchers on several studies - five studies using PECBMS data are in various stages of data analysis and interpretation. Two other studies are in a stage of seeking for approval of national coordinators for data use. Two papers refering to PECBMS outputs were already published: a paper on EU CAP and its consequences for biodiversity and another paper on forest bird indicators. Since the research agenda has been increasing in the PECBMS, the Steering Group decided to hire a PECBMS Research Officer. Recruitment process is on the way, we expect to know a new staff member responsible for research in PECBMS by the autumn 2014.

PECBMS network and assistance to countries and international institutions

We maintain the extensive network of cooperating organisations and individuals across Europe – there are 161 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 provided assistance to coordinators of monitoring schemes in four countries. The assistance included advice on calculation indices using TRIM, indicators and methodology in general. Assistance was also provided to international organisations incl. Wetlands International or EEA.
Information on 36 generic breeding bird monitoring schemes in Europe has been updated and a new profile of monitoring scheme in Serbia has been created in spring 2014.

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.

     

Contacts

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

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

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: klvanovabirdlife.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

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