Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 353579
Title Developing indicators for European birds
Author(s) Gregory, R.D.; Strien, A. van; Vorisek, P.; Meyling, A.W.G.; Noble, D.G.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Gibbons, D.W.
Source Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Series B, Biological Sciences 360 (2005)1454. - ISSN 0962-8436 - p. 269 - 288.
Department(s) WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2005
Keyword(s) amphibian population declines - lowland farmland birds - agricultural intensification - survival rates - trends - biodiversity - britain - abundance - butterflies - extinction
Abstract The global pledge to deliver `a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010¿ is echoed in a number of regional and national level targets. There is broad consensus, however, that in the absence of conservation action, biodiversity will continue to be lost at a rate unprecedented in the recent era. Remarkably, we lack a basic system to measure progress towards these targets and, in particular, we lack standard measures of biodiversity and procedures to construct and assess summary statistics. Here, we develop a simple classification of biodiversity indicators to assist their development and clarify purpose. We use European birds, as example taxa, to show how robust indicators can be constructed and how they can be interpreted. We have developed statistical methods to calculate supranational, multi-species indices using population data from national annual breeding bird surveys in Europe. Skilled volunteers using standardized field methods undertake data collection where methods and survey designs differ slightly across countries. Survey plots tend to be widely distributed at a national level, covering many bird species and habitats with reasonable representation. National species' indices are calculated using log-linear regression, which allows for plot turnover. Supranational species' indices are constructed by combining the national species' indices weighted by national population sizes of each species. Supranational, multi-species indicators are calculated by averaging the resulting indices. We show that common farmland birds in Europe have declined steeply over the last two decades, whereas woodland birds have not. Evidence elsewhere shows that the main driver of farmland bird declines is increased agricultural intensification. We argue that the farmland bird indicator is a useful surrogate for trends in other elements of biodiversity in this habitat
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