Three leading conservation organisations have signed a new agreement that will help to secure the future of bird conservation in the UK.
The chief executives of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reaffirmed their longstanding commitment to the long-term bird monitoring schemes that underpin so much conservation science and action.
Birds are brilliant indicators of how the wider natural world is faring. Monitoring their populations can help us understand what is changing and guide policies and land management to secure a better future for birds, people and the environment. Much-loved species like Swift and Greenfinch are rapidly disappearing from the UK, but others, such as Red Kite, are increasing thanks to dedicated conservation efforts.
We know this because of the thousands of committed and highly skilled volunteers who give their time to record information about our bird populations. Together with the scientists who interpret the data, they help us to understand more about the ongoing biodiversity crisis, the impacts of climate change, and the urgent need for evidence to guide what we can do to protect nature from these and other threats. The new agreement, a funding partnership that covers the period 2022–2027, is surely needed now more than ever.
For decades, BTO has organised the UK Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), as well as both bird ringing and nest recording. The charity has now taken on additional responsibility for the Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) and the Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme (GSMP). This means BTO now delivers the full suite of bird monitoring programmes, providing data on the abundance of around 190 species. BBS, WeBS and SMP are funded jointly by BTO, RSPB and JNCC, while GSMP receives funds from BTO, JNCC and NatureScot.
Posted On: 22/09/2022