Monitoring and indicators

Indicators based on monitoring of birds and their key sites are widely used by the world’s governments. Photo: RSPB


Monitoring is essential for identifying the species, sites and threats of greatest concern, assessing progress in efforts to conserve biodiversity, and evaluating whether policies and actions are having any impact. Being widespread, generally conspicuous, comparatively well-studied, and responsive to environmental change, birds are useful biodiversity indicators. The BirdLife Partnership’s monitoring strategy has three strands:

  • Tracking trends in the status of species using the Red List Index.

  • Assessing trends in the condition, pressures upon and responses in place for the world Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas through IBA monitoring.

  • Monitoring trends in the condition of habitats through bird population monitoring

Indicators (e.g. Red List Indices, IBA-indices and Wild Bird Indices) produced from these efforts are widely used at national, regional and global scales, including by the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations.