Common bird index (EU aggregate) (t2020_rn130)

ESMS Indicator Profile (ESMS-IP)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Relevance
4. Statistical Indicator
5. Frequency and Timeliness of dissemination
6. Coverage and comparability
7. Accessibility and clarity
8. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
Eurostat Quality Profile
4.5. Source data

EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands

5.1. Frequency of dissemination Every year
5.2. Timeliness > T+2 years
6.1. Reference area Only EU aggregate
6.2. Comparability - geographical All EU MS
6.3. Coverage - Time > 10 years
6.4. Comparability - over time > 4 data points

Description of Eurostat quality grading system under the following link.

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

e-mail contact:

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 12/11/2018
2.2. Metadata last posted 08/01/2019
2.3. Metadata last update 21/03/2019

3. Relevance Top

The indicator is part of the Resource Efficiency Scoreboard. It is used to monitor progress towards a resource efficient Europe (i.e. the implementation of the Europe 2020 Resource Efficient Flagship initiative) on the key thematic objective of 'biodiversity' included in the specific theme 'Nature and ecosystems'.

Birds and the habitats of endangered and migratory bird species are protected under the Birds Directive. Many habitats used by birds are also protected under the Habitats Directive. The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 specifically states that these nature directives should be fully implemented in an effort to halt and reverse the trends of biodiversity loss. Funding through the LIFE+ programme has been made available to encourage nature conservation in Member States.

4. Statistical Indicator Top
4.1. Data description

The indicator is an index and integrates the population abundance and the diversity of a selection of common bird species associated with specific habitats. Each of the three EU aggregate indices (i.e. common farmland birds, common forest birds and all common birds) is a composite, multispecies index calculated using Monte Carlo simulations as described in Soldaat et al. (2017) and an R-script developed by Statistics Netherlands (2017). This indicator presents the unsmoothed estimate.

No rare species are included, although some species common in certain Member States may be considered rare in others. The species covered under the common farmland and common forest indices are deemed to be dependent on that particular kind of habitat for feeding and nesting.

The list of species is available in the annex under "EU list of all common bird species". When counting the birds in the wild, countries record the observations in different ways. For the analysis done by the EBCC, the results have to be processed according to the minimum standard common to all countries.

For more information on the use of bird population data as a general indicator of environmental status, read 'Use of outputs generated by Pan-Europe common bird monitoring scheme'.

4.2. Unit of measure

Index 1990 = 100

  • Common farmland birds (39 species)
  • Common forest birds (34 species)
  • All common birds - both farmland and forest birds plus a number of other common birds (168 species)
4.3. Reference Period

Calendar year.

4.4. Accuracy - overall

Indicator from non-ESS source. For assessment of accuracy please refer to the original source (see link to external data source and metadata in “Annexes”).

4.5. Source data

EBCC/RSPB/BirdLife/Statistics Netherlands

Data source: European Bird Census Council (EBCC), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), BirdLife International and Statistics Netherlands

Data provider: The European Bird Census Council and its Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS)

Data set: Common bird indices by type of estimate (EU aggregate) [env_bio3]

5. Frequency and Timeliness of dissemination Top
5.1. Frequency of dissemination

Every year

Indicator is updated annually.

5.2. Timeliness

> T+2 years

New data points are disseminated within 3 years after the reference year.

6. Coverage and comparability Top
6.1. Reference area

Only EU aggregate

Data are presented only for EU aggregate.

6.2. Comparability - geographical


 Data comparable between all EU Member States, because all countries use the same software (TRIM) to analyse their data.

6.3. Coverage - Time

> 10 years

Presented time series starts in 1990.

6.4. Comparability - over time

> 4 data points

Length of comparable time series without methodological break is longer than 4 data points.

7. Accessibility and clarity Top
7.1. Dissemination format - Publications

Reports on the indicators of the Resource Efficiency Scoreboard

A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy (Communication COM(2011) 21)

A Roadmap towards a Resource Efficient Europe

Eurostat, Statistics Explained: Biodiversity statistics

7.2. Dissemination format - online database

See table t2020_rn130

7.3. Dissemination format - other

Eurostat dedicated section on Europe 2020 - Resource Efficient Europe

European Bird Census Council: Trends of common birds in Europe, 2017 update

BirdLife International: Meeting the 2020 biodiversity targets: action and monitoring based on birds

European Bird Census Council (EBCC) website

8. Comment Top

Eurostat Copyright/License Policy is applicable.

Related metadata Top
env_biodiv_esms - Biodiversity

Annexes Top
Analysis associated with the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe - Part I
Analysis associated with the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe - Part II
2015 EU list of common bird species
2014 national lists of common farmland bird species