Europe and Central Asia

Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO)

BirdLife Partner

Founded in 1926
Members: 2200
Staff: 13
Na Belidle 252/34, Prague, CZ, CZ-150 00 Praha 5
+420 274 866 700


Mission of the organisation

The CSO mission aims to promote research and conservation of wild living birds and their habitats and to provide ecological education to the public.

Key Activities


  • A national IBA programme, conservation of 39 Czech IBAs including maintaining caretaker groups, management, monitoring, education and public awareness (the full list of Czech IBAs can be found atwww.birdlife.cz/index.php?a=cat.131. All IBAs are declared as Special Protection Areas 
  • Agriculture and rural development programme in the Czech Republic aimed at lobbying for environment-friendly agricultural practices, including taking part in BirdLife's campaign for a reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy
  • Conservation and monitoring of White Stork Ciconia ciconia– monitoring and management of the breeding population in the Czech Republic and education
  • National Swif Conservation Programme. The main tasks are to raise public awareness and its motivation to build new breeding capacity, civil servant education and training, collaboration with engineers during development of technological processes of nest conservation during thermal insulation of panel houses. Special attention is being paid to media work to promote the crucial measurements of swift conservation 
  • Programme "Free Wings" - a long-term programme focused on all aspects of bird crime, including collecting data on illegal bird persecution, expert assistance to the State authorities, education of policemen and the wider public, workshops, education, and lobbying for improvement of legislative. Special websitehttp://www.karbofuran.cz/ deals with poisoning of animals
  • First private ornithological park Josefov meadows next to the town of Jaroměř (eastern part of Czech Republic). The park is an area of cultivated meadows among three watercourses, accessible only by bridges. CSO aims to restore a 100 years ols irrigation system on the site that will allow controlled flooding of the grassland in order to create the ideal breeding conditions for wetlands birds and an important stopover for migrating birds too. In the final stage, CSO also plans to build relevant infrastructures for visitors. This project is quite innovative in its achievement - being one of the first where a technical structure is going to be repaired mainly for nature protection purposes instead of for economic 


  • CSO hosts the co-ordinator of Pan-European Common Birds Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS). The PECBM is a partnership involving the European Bird Census Council, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, BirdLife International and Statistics Netherlands that aims to deliver policy relevant biodiversity indicators for Europe. The scheme collates data on changes in bird numbers across Europe and produces European indices and indicators annually. For more information please seehttp://www.ebcc.info/pecbm.html
  • CSO is contracted as a national co-ordinator of the monitoring of Special Protection Areas (Natura 2000) ans Annex I species
  • CSO is a national co-ordinator of Common bird monitoring. Based on Common bird monitoring, CSO provides annually Farmland bird indicators for the Ministry of Agriculture.   
  • CSO is parner of several other bird monitoring programmes in the Czech Republic: the Breeding Bird Monitoring Programme, 3rd Atlas of the breeding distribution of birds in the Czech Republic and the international Waterbird Census
  • CSO provides own faunistic database of birds of the Czech Republic http://www.birds.cz/avif/

Network de​velopment

  • Membership recruitment – the best recruiting tools are web page and various events such as Bird of the Year etc, Dawn Chorus Day, Eurobirdwatch, etc.
  • Regional branches - CSO has eight regional branches. The branches work at regional and local level, publish their local publications, organise field camps etc.
  • Library - CSO has a central library containing hundreds of books and periodicals, which are available to CSO members
  • Field stations - the CSO has three field stations (simple buildings) in excellent ornithological localities which are available to members
  • Training course for CSO members – CSO runs one week training courses focused on ornithological methods to educate members so they are able to join CSO's scientific programmes
  • Excursions - CSO annually organises 3-4 excursions to interesting bird areas both in Czech Repuclic and abroad

Publicat​ion activities

  • Regularly published ornithological peridiocals: Sylvia(1 issue per year), CSO News (4 issues per year)
  • Membership magazine The World of Birds (2 issues per year)
  • Brochure The Bird of the Year
  • Brochure The IBA of the year (til 2010)
  • Atlas of breeding bird distribution in Prague (2003)
  • Birds and Law (2004) – simple explanation of all the legislation related to dealing with birds in the wild and in captivity
  • Brochure Swift and bat conservation during reconstruction of buildings (2008)
  • A best practise guide for wild bird monitoring schemes(CSO/RSPB 2008)
  • State of the birds of the Czech Republic (in Sylvia 2009)
  • Moniroting of Annex I species of Birds Directive and Special Protection Areas betwen 2005-2007 (in co-operation  with Agency of Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection, 2010)
  • Spring Alive - A school Working book (2011)
  • Other occasional educational materials (leaflets, brochures) are published every year

Education and​ promotion

  • Exhibitions about birds and their conservation at national and local level (The most successful was the exhibition “The smuggled pleasure” (2002) aimed at CITES convention held in National Museum in Prague - attended by more than 60,000 people)
  • Media releases - usually some 15 central media releases are realised every year, with several occasional media releases, and interviews for the media
  • Birdwatching events - two main central events are organised every year: Dawn Chorus Day and EuroBirdwatch/World Birdwatch, both at 40 to 110 sites in the Czech Republic with several hundreds of participants
  • Campaigns - the campaign "The Bird of the Year" started in 1992 recently evolved into a famous campaign with good media coverage. The bird specie for the particular year is selected by the  CSO board, and after the bruchure is published, a public campaign awareness is lauched.
  • Spring Alive - national part of a Pan-European campaign which purposes are education and public awareness. CSO joint Spring Alive in 2010 and since that year, Spring Alive has become CSO's main educative project, targeting numerous children, teachers and adults
  • Do we need a skylark ? - 20min movie dealing with farmlands birds and their threats
  • Human and bird areas or Natura Paradoxa ? - 40min dealing with Special Protected Areas in the Czech Republi
  • All main CSO activities and media releases are presented on the web site www.birdlife.cz/


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