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

The report summarizes the activities of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) between July and December 2014. In this period we mainly focused on exploration of improvements of the national farmland bird indicators. Collation of updated national species population trends and indices started in November. PECBMS team has recently increased its capacity - a new research officer, Anna Gamero, was recruited and became a part of the coordination team. Anna will lead the on further research activities in PECBMS.

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 various existing national versions of FBI used in countries contributing their data to PECBMS. We are also working on alternative ways of benchmarking the countries. Our analysis of national FBI will be finished soon. Final proposal will be discussed within PECBMS network and with other key stakeholders next year.

Collection of national species indices

We started to gather new national data for next update of European species indices and indicators in November. Updated European results are expected to be published in June 2015. We expect to include data from Lithuania for the first time, and we also explore the possibility of including new species. This year, we collect also national site level data for forthcoming research projects.

PECBMS publication and promotion strategy

The PECBMS publication strategy is being revised this year. Other ways of publication (both for promotional and scientific purposes) are subject of revision and careful analyses of target groups needs. For this purpose, the on-line questionnaire on the use and impact of current promotional materials (including collection of suggestions for future materials) has been distributed to our target groups (wider PECBMS network, policy makers, journalists, researchers, BirdLife partners and birdwatchers) between August - October 2014. Thanks to 321 respondents we have now the overall idea how our readers evaluate our materials and we also got new suggestions how to promote our results. Based on this survey we prepare a new strategy for the next years. Many thanks to all respondents for their valuable help!

Use of PECBMS outputs in policy, public awareness and research

We continue cooperating with external researchers on several studies. The most recent study revealing the decline of the commonest birds in Europe has been published this November in Ecology Letter but altogether 11 other studies using PECBMS data are currently in various stages of data analysis and interpretation or under preparation. Due to increasing usage of PECBMS data and as well as the need of further exploration of our results, a new research officer, Anna Gamero, has been hired. Anna started her work in PECBMS team in October and besides on cooperation of current research studies, she will focus on investigating the effects of EU policy on European common birds.
PECBMS supranational outputs has been also provided to various institutions or individuals for use in policy or raising public awareness or for research purposes - since June, our data has been used in seven cases, for example, EU trends has been provided to BirdLife for the European Red List of bird species (Birds in Europe 3) and the updated indicators has been sent to Eurostat & European Commission.

PECBMS network and assistance to countries and international institutions

We maintain the extensive network of cooperating organisations and individuals across Europe - there are 157 contacts from 46 countries or territories on PECBMS mailing list, including coordinators of national monitoring schemes, EBCC national delegates and BirdLife partner organisations as well as policy people and decision makers.
We provided assistance on methods, TRIM computation procedure, indicators etc. to coordinators of monitoring schemes for example from Lithuania, Bulgaria, Austria, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovenia, Spain or Sweden.

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 Voříšek, e-mail: EuroMonitoringbirdlife.cz.

Technical assistant: Jana Škorpilová, email: skorpilovabirdlife.cz.

Technical assistant (part time): Alena Klvaňová, email: klvanovabirdlife.cz.

Research officer: Anna Gamero, email: gamerobirdlife.cz.

All based at Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257 212 465.

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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