As Christmas is approaching, many people are looking for gifts for relatives and friends. Many of us feel uncomfortable in big shopping centres, under pressure of advertisements, pushing us to buy and donate things we in fact don’t need. On the other hand, there are plenty of issues around us which deserve our attention. As nature is under continuous pressure and in need of conservation actions, we need data for proper decisions in conservation and policy. Supporting the European Breeding Bird Atlas via donating a species sponsorship as a Christmas gift is certainly an excellent option to show your support for nature. It’s easy, environmental footprint is minimal and it helps to finalise the most ambitious project on mapping biodiversity in Europe, which will help decision making in nature conservation!
What has happened so far in EBBA2?
We finished all EBBA2 fieldwork and collected field data from national coordinators into a central database. We have been checking the data, and producing provisional maps of species distribution and abundance. Currently, we are modelling the maps of probability of occurrence at 10×10 km scale. In parallel, we have been busy with planning the final book. Writing of individual species chapters is planned for 2019 in order to achieve our goal to have the book published in December 2020. In order for this huge database and EBBA2 future outputs to have an actual on-ground impact, we already started discussing with researchers and policy people on how to make the best use of this unique data set. We also continued our efforts to raise funds for continuation and finalisation of the project.
Where is there still a need in EBBA2?
We have made big progress and the goal, publishing the results in 2020, is within reach. However, there is still a lot of work in front of us. We will continue to work on the data and will start to write the book soon. The first analyses of the EBBA2 data will be done soon in order to make them available for biodiversity reporting in 2020 and other urgent policy purposes. We will increase our effort to engage with researchers and other users of the EBBA2 outputs. Last, but not least, we want to build on experience and enthusiasm created by our common effort to make EBBA2 happen. Primarily, we wish to support development of general atlas work and bird monitoring in countries in eastern and southern Europe. Through the work on EBBA2, the ornithologists in these countries have shown that with some support they enthusiastically engage in high quality mapping and developing of bird monitoring.
How can you join in?
Although we were successful in raising funds for fieldwork phase of EBBA2, we still lack funds for the final phases of the EBBA2 work. We have been active in raising funds and addressing various foundations and institutions and we plan to continue with this. However, apart from bigger donors and supporters, a gift from many individual, smaller, donors can also make a substantial contribution to EBBA2. Such support is possible via the species sponsorship scheme, where anybody can contribute. Supporters can donate in their names, but can also donate a species sponsorship to someone else. If you are seeking for meaningful Christmas gifts, ideally with added value for nature and people, then donating a species sponsorship as a Christmas gift is an ideal option for you!
Petr Voříšek, 1.12.2018