One of the conclusions of the last EBBA2 workshop in November 2015 in Mikulov was the need to increase the cooperation between ornithological organisations from Western and Eastern Europe.
Within this context the Catalan Ornithological Institute (ICO) decided to focus their current international collaboration in the framework of EBBA2 on Greece, a country without a previous breeding bird atlas and which habitats and avifauna may often look familiar to ornithologists from Catalonia.
The Greek atlas coordinator from the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) was invited to present a plan for atlas camps in remote areas in that country so that atlas fieldwork training could be carried out in close cooperation between foreigners and local ornithologists. The atlas camps will be held in the regions of Kastoria-Grammos and the Peloponnese, located mainly in remote mountainous sites with difficult access. In addition to covering atlas squares, atlas camps are expected to enhance the participation of Greek ornithologists and also support local conservation groups.
The Greek Breeding Bird Atlas commenced in 2013 and although more than 35% of the 50×50 km EBBA2 squares have been completely or partially covered using standardized methods, approximately a third of squares has not been assigned yet, many of which are located in insular areas. Those interested to contribute are now able to view current square coverage (both 10x10km and 50x50km square grids) and are requested to register to the Greek Breeding Bird Atlas project so as to inform their intention to undertake a square. Methods and protocols may be downloaded from the HOS website.
GAP tool map with the squares for priority mapping in Greece (green are the high priority squares).
At the moment these lines were written these international expeditions were under preparation. Four ornithologists from ICO, divided in two different teams will join ornithologists from HOS very soon.
We hope this example encourages other initiatives of cooperation between Western and Eastern atlas projects in the framework of the EBBA2 and also inspires foreign ornithologists to participate in atlas work during their spring and early summer holidays abroad. Breeding seasons in 2016 and 2017 represent valuable opportunities to strengthen our network of European ornithologists!
31.3.2016. Sergi Herrando & Danae Portolou