The Strategy (170.31 KB)
Species to target (38.77 KB)
A key aim for the BTO is to understand how populations change in order to inform effective conservation policies. The demographic monitoring schemes (Ringing and Nest Record Schemes, CES and RAS) have a critical part to play in this by providing information on survival, productivity and dispersal with which to interpret data on abundance collected by schemes such as BBS and WeBS. Much of this work is undertaken within the BTO/JNCC Partnership and, as part of the renewal of the Partnership Agreement, we have identified a need to develop improved targeting of demographic monitoring effort during the current Partnership period (2010-2016) to better support conservation policies. A key goal of this targeting is to increase the number of species for which good quality demographic analyses can be produced (and hence for which causes of population change may be inferred) and to provide measures of cross species patterns that are indicative of broad environmental change, such as trends towards earlier laying dates linked to climate change and changes in survival in response to changing agricultural practices.
The development of thisIntegrated Population Monitoring, which has been a key component of the BTO's science programme since at least the late 1980s. We are living through a period of major environmental change - our crowded landscape has to support ever-increasing demands from a wide range of uses, including farming, housing and recreation. Of course, it is not just land-use that is changing, our climate is changing as well, which will also alter bird populations in new and unforeseen ways. If we are to ensure habitats remain for all our bird species in the coming decades we need to know how their populations will respond to such changes. To do this, we need to monitor how patterns of bird survival, reproduction and movement are changing over time, and how they vary across the country. The Ringing and Nest Record Schemes will be critical in contributing to this, particularly through systematic schemes, such as CES and RAS. These results feed through into the BirdTrends report on our website. This is updated annually so that all involved in conserving and managing Britain's landscape and habitats have easy access to the latest information on the health of our bird populations.
How the strategy was developed
We first discussed ways of collecting more, and better, data from the Ringing and Nest Recording Schemes at a workshop at the BTO’s annual Swanwick conference in December 2009; the
Taking things forward
If we are to provide good advice on species population change, it is much better to concentrate on doing a few species well, rather than getting a little data for a lot of species, but then not doing be able to do much with with it (in general, ten studies on one species are likely to tell us much more than one study on each of ten species). So, we have come up with a