David Noble, BTO

Using information on bird populations and movements to influence policy


Communicating the results of biodiversity monitoring can be difficult given the diversity in species responses to environmental change and the complex array of relationships between different components of ecosystems. In this talk, I provide an overview of recent use of bird monitoring information to guide policy in the UK, highlighting the opportunities and challenges of each of these initiatives. Findings to be discussed include: studies of crop and field margin use by birds, response to trials of agri-environment management options, the effects of muirburning on breeding upland birds, the impact of wind renewable developments on birds, and the use of composite bird indicators as measures of progress towards sustainable land use. I show how spatial mapping of the presence and abundance of breeding birds has been used to target environmental stewardship funds in England and describe how analyses of ringing and recovery information from UK, and European, bird ringing schemes was developed for use as a tool to for focusing surveillance for avian influenza during the outbreaks in 2006 and 2007. Policy-makers need to make decisions, and the best situation arises when the studies or analyses have produced clear results, and where the accuracy of the estimates or predictions can also be provided.


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