What is EBCC

What is ebcc ZbindenThe EBCC is an association under Dutch Law of like-minded expert ornithologists co-operating in a range of ways to improve bird monitoring and atlas work and thereby inform and improve the management and conservation of birds populations in Europe.

The aims of EBCC are to:

  • Bring together ornithologists who are interested in the study of distribution, numbers and demography of European birds
  • Encourage monitoring of bird populations and their distributions aimed at better conservation and management of bird populations.
  • Promote monitoring that is rigorously planned with clear objectives.
  • To monitor distribution, numbers and demography so that changes may be detected, and if possible, understood and the relevant agencies provided with sound information to base conservation and management actions
  • Promote the development of indicators of the changing ability of European landscapes to support wildlife.
  • Encourage communication and collaboration between organisations, institutions and individuals interested in monitoring bird populations and their distribution
  • Promote exchange of news, ideas and expertise through its journal (Bird Census News) and through its programme of conferences and workshops.
  • Host major international conferences on a 3 to 4-year cycle across Europe with published proceedings.
  • Work closely with international ornithological and conservation organisations, and encourage links between ornithologists, land managers and policy makers.
  • Encourage and create specialist working groups to tackle relevant topics
  • Run major international projects such as the European atlases and monitoring schemes




How does EBCC operate?

1.The role of the EBCC board

The day-to-day management of EBCC business and affairs is undertaken by a Board.The governance of EBCC is defined by the EBCC Articles of Association (see the EBCC homepage). The role of the Board is to advance the agreed aims of EBCC as best it can in a professional and progressive fashion within budget and other constraints, and as guided by the views of the national Delegates. Members of the Board are drawn from a range of different organisations in Europe, but each acts on the Board in a personal and voluntary capacity.

The Board is composed of up to ten people: a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to six ordinary members. The Board meets twice a year, usually in spring and autumn to discuss and manage EBCC business and affairs. Board members may reasonably request reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs in attending these meetings if they have no such funds available to them from other sources. A number of observers, nominated by the Board, also attend these meetings from organisations such as the British Trust for Ornithology, SOVON Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology, and BirdLife International. Observers act in an advisory capacity, linking the work of EBCC to ongoing activities and programmes. These individuals have no voting rights on the Board.

The Board is elected by the General Meeting of the Association, which is composed of two Delegates from each European country within the network. Delegates are ratified by the General Meeting following discussion and recommendations from relevant national organisations, institutes and experts within each country. The General Meeting formally takes place every year, but the Delegates normally only convene every three coinciding with EBCC´s major international conferences. At the GM, the Board presents a summary of its work since the last conference and a financial report. It also suggests and seeks venues for future conferences, and it raises constitutional matters and any other relevant issues, which may be voted upon. The Board is renewed by vote of the GM at three year intervals. In normal circumstances, the current Board would make a recommendation as to the composition of a new Board, but Delegates can also suggest new Board members. Each Delegate has a single vote at the GM.

2. The role of the national Delegates

The two nominated national Delegates per country play a central role in the operation of EBCC. Their role is to advance the agreed aims of EBCC as best they can in a professional and progressive fashion within budget and other constraints, and as guided by the Board. In brief, the role of the Delegate is to further the aims of the EBCC both at a national and international levels by representing national views and communicating them to the Board, by disseminating relevant EBCC news and information within countries, and by engaging actively in EBCC initiatives.

At the same time as Delegates are expected to contribute in various ways, the idea is of course, that the Delegates and the countries they represent should benefit from sharing ideas and knowledge from like-minded experts from other European countries.

Guidelines for selecting and appointing new Delegates are defined within the Articles of Association, as are procedures for replacing those who wish to stand down and those Delegates who are not able to engage actively with EBCC.

Delegates are encouraged to cooperate actively with the work of EBCC in some of the following ways:

  • Attending the EBCC´s international conferences (including the General Meetings), workshops and meetings – all are high priority
  • Actively engaging with EBCC projects and working groups in a positive and participatory fashion
  • Providing news and annual updates of relevant national monitoring/atlas projects for the EBCC website and Bird Census News
  • Promoting EBCC´s aims and good reputation when appropriate opportunities arise, at both national and international levels
  • Maintaining regular contact with the EBCC Delegate Officer and informing them any changes in contact or other details.
  • Responding in a timely fashion to requests from EBCC, that is, from the Board and EBCC initiatives
  • Suggesting new areas and initiatives for development of monitoring work

In those circumstances where existing Delegates are unable to engage with the work of the EBCC in the ways described above (for whatever reason), then the Board would seek to find suitable replacements in discussion and agreement with relevant national contacts.

Dr. Ruud Foppen
Chairman, European Bird Census Council &
Head of Research Department
SOVON – Dutch Centre for field ornithology

On behalf of the Board of the European Bird Census Council.