What is EBBA2 and why EBBA2

Athene noctua Tomáš Bělka


A New European Breeding Bird Atlas – EBBA2 is an exciting new challenge for European ornithology providing vital data for conservation. It is one of the most ambitious biodiversity mapping project ever attempted.

The new Atlas will document changes in breeding distribution of all European bird species.

  • EBBA2 covers 5 years of fieldwork in more than 50 European countries, including European part of Russia, Caucasus and Turkey, between 2013 and 2017.
  • The project of EBBA2 conducted the mapping of more than 500 breeding species in more than 5000 squares 50×50 km large.
  • It is estimated that more than 50 000 volunteer fieldworkers were involved in the data collection process.

  Why a new Atlas?

  • Over the last 30 years, many environmental changes, such as those in land use and climate, have impacted on populations of birds across Europe. For effective conservation and informed decision making, we need the most up-to-date information on these impacts.
  • Knowing where birds occur, and how this has changed, is a crucial part in targeting conservation action, and will tell us much about the state of the wider environment. It also provides valuable data for scientific analyses, and for assessing if and how projected changes are materialising.
  • New opportunities have arisen, improving our ability to incorporate even the most remote parts of Europe and provide a robust baseline for future monitoring across the whole continent.

   What will the new Atlas achieve?

  • The Atlas will provide up-to-date distribution maps for birds across the whole of Europe.
  • The Atlas will show changes in species distribution since the 1980s.
  • The volume of bird data collected for the Atlas will make it one of the most comprehensive biodiversity data sets in the world.
  • New analytical approaches will allow better maps of range and relative abundance than ever before.
  • The Atlas will build capacity for conservation and monitoring in areas where this is most needed.

    How is the Atlas produced?

  • Data collection built on existing national atlases and the vast network of volunteer citizen scientists and professional ornithologists across Europe, from the Azores to European Russia.
  • National Atlas coordinators are responsible for compiling the data in each country.
  • The EBCC coordinates the project across the continent as a whole.
  • The project utilises existing data where possible, but new data have been collected from many areas, in particular in eastern and south-eastern Europe.
  • Analysis and production of maps will be carried out in collaboration with specialists of EBCC member organisations, including leading experts in spatial modelling and mapping.

     What outputs are planned?

  • The results will be presented in a book, to be published by 2020 at the latest.
  • Interactive maps and further information will be made available online.
  • Leading scientists and conservationists will produce summaries to highlight the most crucial findings.
  • The Atlas database will be available for further scientific work.

    How is the project financed?

  • During the fieldwork period (2013-2017), the biggest financial support provided to EBBA2 came from MAVA foundation, which enabled substantial data collection effort in eastern and southern European countries.
  • By using volunteer citizen scientists, and existing networks of ornithologists, EBBA2 data collection period was as efficient and low-cost as is possible to achieve such a far-reaching and ambitious goal.
  • This ambitious project requires further resources for data analysis and producing the publication, and the EBCC works with partners to explore a myriad of different funding possibilities. The funding from 2018 onward has still not been secured, and if you wish to contribute, you can do so by easily supporting your favourite species for EBBA2.