Habitat forms a natural way of classifying wildlife populations, such as woodland birds, but determining how many of which species might be found in a habitat patch and how numbers change over time is complex. Field surveys, analyses of scheme data and targeted experiments by BTO have investigated habitat composition effects, such as of woodland structure, farmland heterogeneity, connectivity among freshwaters and heathland vegetation, on bird abundance, movements, breeding success and survival.
Butterflies find safe haven in UK gardens
BTO Garden BirdWatch (GBW) is the UK’s largest structured bird survey, delivering over 25 years of weekly bird counts from more than 14,000 gardens, predominantly occupying suburban and rural...
Landscape fires disproportionally affect areas of conservation priority but only under low moisture conditions
This study identified five fires reaching more than 100 km2, a threshold often used to classify ‘megafires’. Frequent spring and summer fires predominantly started in agricultural areas, where...
Inconsistent relationships between area, heterogeneity and plant species richness in temperate farmed landscapes
Curlew collaboration to boost breeding success
Research from BTO and the University of East Anglia reveals how land management can support the breeding success of this declining species.
Urban and coastal breeding lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) segregate by foraging habitat
A tale of two warblers
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) results show very different population trends for Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff - but what is driving this difference? BTO research reveals climate is key.
An assessment of relative habitat use as a metric for species’ habitat association and degree of specialization
Habitat selection and specialisation of Herring Gulls during the non-breeding season
New collaborative BTO research has used GPS to provide insights into the movements and habitat needs of Herring Gulls outside the breeding season. Researcher fixed GPS tags to 20 Herring Gulls...
<p>Long-term effects of rewilding on species composition: 22 years of raptor monitoring in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone</p>
Over 2,000 km² of Belarus previously given over to intensive agriculture and dense settlements was affected by the 1986 reactor meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in Ukraine. Since then,...
Multi-taxa spatial conservation planning reveals similar priorities between taxa and improved protected area representation with climate change
Pinpointing which protected area characteristics help community response to climate warming: waterbirds in the European Union’s Natura 2000 network
Resilient protected area network enables species adaptation that mitigates the impact of a crash in food supply
Oystercatcher numbers are declining in the UK, in line with the trends for wader species globally, and with ever greater anthropogenic changes to wader habitats, it is vital we understand the...
Sensitivity mapping for breeding waders
Models to be used towards the development of tools to guide, inform and minimise conflict between wader conservation and forest expansion.
Spatial and temporal differences in migration strategies among endangered European Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clanga
Supporting our colleagues in Ukraine ...
Assessing drivers of winter abundance change in Eurasian Curlews Numenius arquata in England and Wales
GPS tracking reveals landfill closures induce higher foraging effort and habitat switching in gulls
During the 20th century, gull populations across the globe increased rapidly in response to human activities, with the availability of waste food in landfill sites a key driver of their success....
Herring Gulls aren't after your chips
New BTO research using GPS tracking reveals that declining Herring Gulls are more likely to be foraging on Mussels than pilfering chips.
Sensitivities to land use change by breeding Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) in Britain
Populations of Short-eared Owls are declining across many parts of their range, including here in Britain, where their breeding range contracted between 1990 and 2010. The relationships between a...
Wader population trends on the UK's open coast
Newly published research from BTO underlines the importance of the UK’s rocky shores and sandy beaches for waterbird species.
The State of the UK's Birds 2020
Providing an annual overview of the status of the UK’s breeding and non-breeding bird species in the UK, this year’s report highlights the continuing poor fortunes of the UK’s woodland birds,...
Evaluating spatially explicit sharing‐sparing scenarios for multiple environmental outcomes
The urban sprawl
BTO's Head and Principal Ecologist, Gavin Siriwardena, explains how the urban landscape is affecting our wild bird populations.