Data requirements for non-standardised and standardised surveys

Mergus merganser_Bělka za web

Simple data requirements, based on EBBA2 methodology apply to any country. In principle, data collected for the atlas, can come from:

  1. non-standardised surveys (opportunistic data) or
  2. standardised surveys (data collected with standardised effort and methodology).

Both approaches will contribute to the production of European distribution maps (in a grid 50×50 km), the latter will be also used for modelling the distribution in Europe at a scale of 10×10 km. For details see the EBBA2 methodology.

1. Non-standardised survey (opportunistic data).
Minimum requirements on the data are very simple:

  • Species must be properly determined.
  • Any observation must include:
    • Date/s of observation (one day or a few consecutive days)
    • Geographic location (see below for details)
    • Site name (name of a town, village, mountain etc)
    • Species recorded
    • Atlas code
    • Name of observer(s) and contact (e-mail)
    • Indicate whether you recorded all species detected or just a selection of species (optional)
    • Time (optional)
    • Duration of the observation (optional)
    • Number of individuals observed (optional)
    • Any further details (optional)

Geographic location and type of information

There are different possibilities to contribute:

  • Provide a species list for a 50×50 km square.
  • Provide a species list for a particular location, defined as square (e.g. 10×10 km or 1×1 km), polygon, route or point.
  • Provide the precise location of each observation.

You can either use excel table for non-standardised data provision and send it to the national coordinator or place your data directly on-line via different web portals (BirdTrack, Ornitho and Observado contain 50×50 km grid on European scale as well as Atlas codes).

2. Standardised survey (timed visits)
The aim is to obtain complete lists of species with controlled effort. The data will be used for modelling species’ distribution at 10×10 km scale across Europe. Details of the standardised surveys can differ from country to country, thus, in case you are interested in this type of fieldwork, we recommend to contact national coordinators and ask for detailed instructions. European coordinators may also act as contacts and provide square grids when necessary.

However, if you cannot fully contribute to standardised surveys for a particular country (e.g. if two visits are required but you are only staying for a short time) you can still contribute to the standard survey of the European atlas. All you have to do is to report a list of species during a timed visit of 1-2 hours following a walked route (not staying in the same place). Timed visits should be done during the time of day birds are most active, i.e. usually early morning. Thus, the data requirements are:

  • Species must be properly determined (caution – making complete species list requires very good knowledge and determination skills)
  • A report on an observation of a species must include (information indicated as optional is preferred as it will significantly increase the value of the records):
    • Date of observation
    • Site name (name of a town, village, mountain etc) as precisely as possible
    • Geographic location: 10×10 or 1×1 square, route or area covered (e.g. in BirdTrack), or geographical coordinates (GPS) of the centre of the surveyed area.
    • Species recorded
    • Atlas code
    • Time (beginning and end)
    • Name of observer(s) and contact (e-mail)
    • Number of recorded individuals (optional)
    • Any further details (optional)

You can download an Excel table for standardised data or place it directly on-line via different web portals.

Both approaches can be easily combined. For instance, you can start with a timed visit early in the morning, and can spend the rest of the day visiting different habitats searching for other species.