Concrake: subject of a finalised international action plan © Niall Benvie/Naturepl.comPartnership Bird Monitoring Schemes

 

 

For full names of partners, see Surveillance Schemes.

 

Breeding Bird Survey

 

Funding Partners

BTO (hosts data), JNCC, RSPB


Summary of Scheme
The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the main scheme for monitoring population changes for common breeding birds in the UK. Birds are considered to be good indicators of the condition of the natural environment for several reasons:

  • Birds are near the top of the food chain, thus are sensitive to environmental change.
  • Extensive and long-running information exists on annual changes in bird populations.
  • A significant body of evidence is available to suggest reasons for population change.

In 2013, 2,854 BBS volunteers contributed to the survey by covering 3,671 x 1km squares, recording data on distribution and abundance for 110 bird species.


Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
Annual statistic on breeding birds


Latest dataset published:
July 2013


Indicators:


Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the BTO website, including the latest State of UK Birds report

 

Wetland Bird Survey


Funding Partners

BTO (hosts data), RSPB, JNCC, WWT


Summary of Scheme
The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) is the monitoring scheme for non-breeding waterbirds in the UK. The UK is of notable international importance for waterbirds, with the relatively mild climate and extensive wetland areas (especially estuaries) attracting as large numbers, particularly during winter, when most survey takes place.  WeBS started in 1947, and now around 3,000 volunteers take part in synchronised monthly counts of over 100 species at around 2,000 wetlands of all habitat types.
The data collected are used to assess the size of waterbird populations, determine trends in numbers and distribution, and assess the importance of individual sites for waterbirds, in line with the requirements of international conservation Conventions and Directives, including primarily the Birds Directive, Convention on Migratory Species, and the Ramsar Convention.
As part of WeBS, an Alerts System was developed to provide a standardised method of identifying the direction and magnitude of changes in numbers – at a variety of spatial and temporal scales – for a range of waterbird species for which sufficient WeBS data are available. Species that have undergone major changes in numbers can then be flagged by issuing an Alert. Alerts are intended to be advisory and – subject to interpretation – used as a basis on which to direct research and subsequent conservation efforts if required.


Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
Annual statistic on wintering waterbirds
3 yearly site trends (site alerts) for wetland birds

 

Latest dataset published:
August 2014

 

Indicators:

 

Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the BTO website

 

Rare Breeding Birds Panel


Funding Partners

RBBP (host data), JNCC, RSPB, BTO


Summary of Scheme
The Rare Breeding Birds Panel started in 1972, and collects annual breeding data on almost 200 of the rarer species of birds breeding in the United Kingdom. Its records allow the production of annual totals of breeding pairs for each species. Observations are submitted by recorders to the RBBP website.


Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
N/A


Latest dataset published:
September 2014 (for data up to 2012. Published in September 2014 edition of “British Birds”. Summary available from RBBP website).


Indicators:
Contributes to the UK Biodiversity Indicator for the status of threatened priority species .

 

Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the reports page of the RBBP website.

 

Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme


Funding Partners

WWT (host data), JNCC, SNH


Summary of Scheme
13 species of migratory geese and swans have been monitored since the mid 1950s.  Data from the Wetland Bird Survey feeds into the Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme. For populations not readily surveyed through WeBS, a number of bespoke surveys are used to estimate population abundance.


Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
Provides data for the annual statistic on wintering waterbirds


Latest dataset published:
September 2014


Indicators:
A data source for the UK Biodiversity Indicator for birds of the wider countryside and at sea.


Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the Goose and Swan reports page of the WWT website

 

National Ringing Scheme


Funding Partners

BTO (host data), JNCC


Summary of Scheme
Around 880,000 birds are ringed each year of 270 species, including birds from 120 Constant Effort Survey (CES) sites and 100 Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS) studies. The CES monitors a range of passerines in the breeding season and the RAS Scheme involves individual projects each collecting detailed information on one species.The National ringing scheme started in 1909, whilst CES started in 1983, and RAS in 1998. The scheme provides useful information on bird species demographics and migration.

 

Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
N/A


Latest dataset published:
2013


Indicators:
N/A


Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the Ringing publications page of the BTO website

 

Nest Record Scheme


Funding Partners

BTO (host data), JNCC


Summary of Scheme
The Nest Record Scheme gathers information on the breeding success of Britain's birds by locating and following the progress of individual birds' nests. The scheme started in 1939, and monitors over 30,000 nests each year. Nests of 232 species have been monitored since 1940.  Information collected helps to determine the impact of changes in habitat and climate on UK bird productivity.

 

Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
N/A


Latest dataset published:
2013


Indicators:
N/A


Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the Nest Record Scheme useful publications page  and Results page of the BTO website

 

Seabird Monitoring Programme


Funding Partners

JNCC (host data), BTO, CEH, NRW, NE, NIEA, SNH, DECLG, DEFRA, SGG, MBL, MNH, NTS, NT, RSPB, TSG, SOTEAG, SWT


Summary of Scheme
The Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) is the monitoring scheme for 26 species of breeding seabirds in the British Isles (including data from the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man).  JNCC is a lead partner in the SMP Partnership and has co-ordinated the running of the scheme since 1986.
A significant proportion of the world population of several species of seabird occur in the UK, and the SMP collects data for all 25 seabird species that regularly breed here.  A large network of sites collect data on breeding abundance and breeding productivity, supplied by partners and volunteers. These are collated and supplemented by the studies at four JNCC-contracted Key Sites, which provide information on adult survival, diet, phenology used to help to diagnose the changes in abundance. Data has been collected by the SMP since 1986, and longer term context is provided by the results of three complete censuses of breeding seabird in the UK and Ireland:

  • Operation Seafarer in 1969-70
  • Seabird Colony Register in 1985-88
  • Seabirds 2000 in 1998-2002

The SMP data supports a number of statutory processes, notably including monitoring relating to the condition of sites of national importance (e.g. SSSI) and international importance (SPAs).  As well as site-related aspects, the data also provide necessary information on the status and trends of individual species as required by the Birds Directive.


Contributes to JNCC official statistic:
Annual statistic for breeding seabirds

 

Latest dataset published:
2013

 

Indicators:

 

Reports and Publications:
Can be found on the JNCC website seabirds and seaduck reports and publications page