14 Jun 2013

Promoting evidence-based bird conservation: a valuable new resource and opportunities to share knowledge

By Tris Allinson

There is a growing trend in nature conservation towards making decisions based on the best available scientific evidence, rather than using other, untested, information sources. Using the best available evidence for conservation actions makes sense and should improve conservation outcomes. The Bird Conservation SynopsisBird Conservation: global evidence for the effects of interventions’ is a recently published book that synthesises available scientific knowledge on the effects of management actions for bird conservation. This new resource, available as a hard copy, a free PDF book, and a searchable database via the ConservationEvidence.com website, aims to make information easily and rapidly accessible to bird conservationists around the world, to help them make informed decisions. The resource, written by a group of conservationists from the University of Cambridge, summarises more than 1200 individual studies on the effectiveness of 322 different types of management intervention. A review of the book describes it as “…  a fascinatingly detailed and important production that any serious bird conservationist should own”. An opportunity to find out more at the forthcoming BirdLife International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada To help promote evidence-based conservation for birds, a Side Event will be held at the BirdLife International World Congress (Thursday 20 June in Room 101) entitled “Sharing conservation experience through publication”. Participants at this event will:

  • Learn more about the new Bird Conservation Synopsis, and other sources of conservation evidence, including BirdLife’s journal Bird Conservation International, a compilation of Case Studies (State of the world’s birds), and the journal Conservation Evidence.
  • Discuss the barriers to publication faced by conservation practitioners and some of the key gaps in scientific evidence that, if filled, could improve conservation practise.

This event will be a great opportunity for conservationists from around the world to share thoughts on publishing and to learn more about the many opportunities to use, and contribute to, important knowledge to improve conservation practice. As a result of the input received and the ideas generated, the organisers plan to produce an editorial on barriers to publication, and how these might be removed, in a forthcoming issue of Bird Conservation International. To widen the opportunity to input to this important work and to promote evidence-based conservation, BirdLife and the University of Cambridge are also conducting a global survey. If you are a bird conservationist, please consider filling in the following questionnaire:


Please share this link with all your bird conservation colleagues. Any questions? Contact Alfredo Romero at ar677@cam.ac.uk. Many thanks in advance!