The EBCC and the EBBA2 coordination team try hard to boost the project of the new European breeding bird atlas in countries where the number of volunteers and the sources are very limited.
This is why the Balkan countries are the target of such efforts. This is also why the EBBA2 coordination team organized a two day workshop and training in Serbia.
It took place in a small town Vrdnik, near Novi Sad, in the National park Fruška Gora, on 25-26 April, 2015. Actually all participants arrived on 24 April during the day and gathered late afternoon for the opening session. There were 21 Serbian professionals and volunteers, including Dimitrije Radišič, the Serbian EBBA2 coordinator, Milan Ružič, the president of Društvo za zaštitu i proučavanje ptica Srbije – the Serbian Birdlife affiliate, and Dragan Simič.
The EBBA2 coordination team was represented by Petr Voříšek and Martin Kupka, completed by another three people from the Czech Society for Ornithology and the Catalan Ornithological Institute.
At the beginning of the session Petr Voříšek gave a short presentation about the EBBA2 project. It was followed by a presentation about the situation of the EBBA2 project in Serbia, given by Dimitrije Radišič. Both presentations triggered a very fruitful discussion about theoretical and practical issues the Serbian ornithologists are facing on their way towards successful data collection for the EBBA2 and the Serbian national atlas.
Saturday and Sunday were dedicated to a very important field training the aim of which was to verify the compatibility of the method the Serbs have been using with the EBBA2 methodology and the ability of the Serbian colleagues to use EBBA2 breeding categories and codes.
The whole company had been divided into 4 groups and then set off for a walk along four transects, lined at the outskirts of Vrdnik. Serbian transects traditionally consist of three sections and cover the area of 50 meters to the left side and to the right side along the transect line. The task is to monitor the breeding species on the transect including counting their numbers, preferably in two hour time. Now the task was even more complicated – it was desirable to use the EBBA2 breeding categories and codes. Apparently, it was demanding to meet all the requirements and later on – on Saturday evening – the debate was excited and long. It definitely helped the Serbian participants sort out and clarify many disputable issues and find a better way in their work. On Sunday morning four different groups went along the same transects and practised the same tasks.
We strongly believe that the workshop and training helped our Serbian partners namely in two ways: firstly find the way to the compatibility of their method with the EBBA2 methodology and secondly discuss and sort out many issues important for their work and the coordination of the EBBA2 project. We also understand that such activities support and strengthen the enthusiasm and the will to continue in the project and they encourage local volunteers to take part and work hard with full responsibility. The visit of EBCC representatives always gives the local partners a good feeling that they are in the focus of our interest and that they are being helped and supported.
Martin Kupka, EBBA2 communication and network officer