Birds in Europe
Birds in Europe (2004) or BiE2 is the second review of the conservation status of all wild birds in Europe. Like its 1994 predecessor, Birds in Europe (BiE1) , it identifies priority species (Species of European Conservation Concern, or SPECs) in order that conservation action can be taken to improve their status.
The geographical scope is continent-wide, extending from Greenland in the west to the Urals in the east, and from Svalbard in the north to the Canary Islands in the south. Increased political stability in the Balkans and the Caucasus has allowed data to be collected from all European countries for the first time.
Data were collected through a network of national coordinators, who sought input from relevant experts, monitoring organisations and regional contributors. The data derive from fieldwork carried out by thousands of ornithologists, including countless volunteers. For each species, national data were gathered on breeding population size (in or around the year 2000) and trend (over the period 1990–2000). Where available, equivalent winter population data were also collected, mainly for waterbirds. In total, some 14,000 population/trend records were received, including many of higher quality than in BiE1. Together with the existing trend and range data from 1970–1990, these new population data were used to reassess each species’s conservation status in Europe.
Of the 524 species assessed, 226—or 43% of the European avifauna— have an Unfavourable Conservation Status in Europe (Figure 1). Of these, 40 species (7.6%) are classified as SPEC 1, 45 (8.6%) as SPEC 2 and 141 (26.9%) as SPEC 3. All these percentages exceed those in BiE1, when 195 species (38% of the 511 assessed) were classified as SPECs.
The overall message from BiE2 is as clear as that from BiE1. Birds in Europe continue to be threatened by widespread environmental change, and many populations are now in deeper trouble than a decade ago. As birds are good environmental indicators, the ongoing decline of so many species sends clear signals about the state of European biodiversity and the health of the wider environment. Given the scale of the problem, the massive and urgent response called for in BiE1 is now even more pressing. Action must be taken immediately—not only to stop the continuing loss of Europe’s once rich and abundant avifauna, but also to show serious commitment to halting biodiversity loss by 2010.
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Birds in the European Union
Birds in the European Union: a status assessment is a 50 pages report published by BirdLife International in November 2004. Based on BirdLife International's extensive data on bird populations, trends and conservation status, it analyses the situation of wild birds in the 25 Member States of the enlarged European Union. The report gives a special reference to the impact of the EU Birds Directive, celebrating the 25th anniversary of this remarkable piece of European legislation. A PDF of the report can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.
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