Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS)

The Retrap Adults for Survival (RAS) scheme is a national standardised ringing programme within the BTO Ringing Scheme that has been running since 1999. Ringers aim to catch or re-sight at least 50 adult birds of a single species in a study area during the breeding season. The study area is well defined and the ringer is aiming to record the vast majority of the adults.

In 2014 there were over 180 projects throughout Britain and Ireland on species as diverse as House Sparrow, Moorhen, Pied Flycatcher and Manx Shearwater. The most recent scheme newsletter provides a full list of the species.

RAS is used to give adult survival rates and is particularly useful for those species not widely covered by CES. 

The Partners

The Retrappping Adults for Survival Scheme is supported by a partnership between the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO ) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) (on behalf of: Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage). It is also part of the BTO Ringing Scheme which is funded by the BTO /JNCC Partnership, The National Parks and Wildlife Service (Ireland) and the ringers themselves.


Latest news from RAS


RAS Results now online

Jackdaw by Jill Pakenham

There arenow four active Jackdaw RAS projects.

For the first time, the full suite of national RAS results are now available online. The new web pages allow you to view the national survival trends, along with brief interpretation of the national results, for each of the 50 species that we currently have enough data to produce trends for. In addition, summary tables show the number of active and historical projects that contribute to the trends and the mean survival and re-encounter rates by species. More information about the results can be found on the Explanatory notes page.




RAS milestone reached

Tree Sparrow. Photograph by Dennis Atherton

There are now six active Tree Sparrow RAS projects

RAS continues to go from strength to strength with a fantastic 19 new projects, covering 16 species, due to start in 2015. One of these, a study on Tree Sparrows in Cleveland, became the 200th active project when it was registered recently. It would represent an incredible effort by all RAS participants if 200 projects submitted data in 2015. Read the full story on the Demog Blog.

A massive thank you to all RAS participants - we wish you all a successful and enjoyable RAS season.

Life Cycle cover, April 2015

Life Cycle is available to read online or download as a PDF.

Introducing Life Cycle

The first edition of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for Ringers and Nest Recorders, is now available to download as a PDF (PDF, 3.74 MB)  or to read online. The bi-annual magazine replaces the old scheme newsletters, back issues of which are still available via the following links - Ringing News (available on the ringers-only pages of the website), NRS NewsCES News and RAS NewsLife Cycle includes practical ringing and nest finding tips, details of novel techniques and summaries of successful monitoring projects that demonstrate the initiative, hard work and skill of existing volunteers, while hopefully inspiring others to set up their own studies. We hope you enjoy reading it!