Working in partnership for seabirds

Working in partnership for seabirds

04 Jul 2022

Razorbill. Edmund Fellowes / BTO

The Seabird Monitoring Programme is an important project for the UK's internationally important breeding seabird populations. Through monitoring, surveillance, and delivery of robust scientific evidence, the project aims to stimulate research to target effective management action. 

Since 1986, when the Seabird Monitoring Programme was created by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC, then the Nature Conservancy Council) and The Seabird Group, JNCC has coordinated the collection, collation and analysis of seabird data from hundreds of skilled participants. These data and statistics have provided insights into the status and trends of our breeding seabirds and, alongside national censuses, have been crucial for informing conservation actions. The SMP Report delivers annual statistics and the SMP Database allows access to tens of thousands of records from coastal and inland colonies. 

Seabird survey volunteer. Gary Clewley

In an exciting milestone for the project’s development, BTO has formed a partnership with the JNCC and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and the organisation will now lead in supporting the network of skilled volunteer and professional participants, collating data via the SMP Database, and producing statistics. 

This new partnership provides an increased opportunity to grow the network and develop the scheme, drawing on our expertise in running bird monitoring projects. Organisations involved in the scheme in the past will form an important Advisory Group that will help guide development, and collaboration on long-term demographic monitoring at the four SMP Key Sites (Fair IsleCannaIsle of May and Skomer) will continue.

Discover the Seabird Monitoring Programme

From inland colonies of Black-headed Gulls to the coastal cliffs hosting Guillemots and Razorbills, get involved in the vital monitoring of our breeding seabirds.

Read more

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