Dataset Details

Common bird index

Index (1990 = 100)
This indicator is an index and integrates the population abundance and the diversity of a selection of common bird species associated with specific habitats. Rare species are excluded. Three groups of bird species are represented: common farmland species (39 species), common forest species (34 species) and all common bird species (167 species) which include the farmland species, the forest species and a further 94 common species (generalists, as opposed to the farmland and forest specialists). Farmland birds have a high dependence on cultivated land during the nesting season and for feeding during most of the year, while forest birds are equally dependent on wooded areas. An agreed European list of bird species is used, from which each country chooses the species to be covered by the data collected in the field. This means that different species are covered in each country, according to their occurrence; for example for the farmland birds, only the Skylark is included in the indices of all countries. The indices should be judged only in their overall development rather than in their annual fluctuation because they are the result of a modelling procedure. The whole time series is re-calculated each time new data are added. Although this indicator has a narrow focus compared to EU policy objectives on biodiversity and ecosystem services, it is considered to be the best available dataset and also indicative of general environmental status. Data are for the EU, an aggregate that changes according to countries joining the Pan-European Common Birds Monitoring Scheme. This aggregate has nothing to do with the same countries' accession to the EU. Norway and Switzerland are not included in the EU estimates. For more information on the use of bird population data as a general indicator of environmental status, read 'Wild bird indicators: using composite population trends of birds as measures of environmental health'

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Additional information

Code: t2020_rn130
Last update: 03/10/18
Oldest data: 1990
Most recent data: 2015
Number of values: 327
Themes: General and regional statistics