Trends of common birds in Europe, 2007 update

This report presents an enlarged set of population trends and indices of 124 common bird species in Europe, which have been produced by Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme in early 2007. The trends and indices presented in this report cover time period 1980 – 2005, although data back to 60s are available from some European countries.

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New project helps to measure the progress towards halting the loss of biodiversity by using birds as indicators.

In September this year bird conservation NGOs from Belarus, Macedonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Bulgaria started a project for strengthening their capacity to run successful national Common Bird Monitoring Schemes (CBM). These monitoring schemes are citizen science initiatives, which use data collected by volunteers to analyse how the populations of common and widespread birds change in response to environmental conditions. The results produces by the analysis are used to develop indexes for the quality of the natural habitats and the environment. For example the EU uses the Farmland Bird Index which is produced using these data as a measure of the effective implementation of its commitments set by the Convention of Biological Diversity to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. The project is the first of the so called Strategic projects of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). It is co-financed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the BirdLife partner in UK.