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General Information

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Organisation Reference British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)
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This information has been provided by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and is supplied in its original format.

The role of the British Trust for Ornithology is to promote and encourage the wider understanding, appreciation and conservation of birds through scientific studies using the combined skills and enthusiasm of its members, other birdwatchers and staff. To this end, the BTO's 11,000 members and 80 staff carry out a range of volunteer and professional surveys.

The BTO's Ringing Scheme is responsible for ringing birds within the UK. The results from ringing and associated recoveries form vital information on the movements and survival rates of British birds. They are increasingly important for understanding the causes of mortality in Britain's birds. The BTO in conjunction with The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (on behalf CCW, EN, SNH & EHS(NI)) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds runs the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) to monitor waterfowl populations throughout the UK through monthly counts. The BTO's role within this scheme is to organise low tide counts of waterfowl on estuarine sites and to develop methods of issuing alerts for exceptional population increases or decreases. Other major monitoring schemes run by BTO are the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey which covers 2,000 1-km squares within the UK. The long-running Heronries Census and a range of surveys on other single species are in operation. Most of these surveys involve large numbers of volunteers who are backed-up by scientific staff at the Trust who ensure that scientifically rigorous data are collected.

In addition to survey work, the BTO undertakes a range of contracts funded by conservation agencies, government and developers. These projects fall into two categories:

(i) Assessing the effects of man's activities on birds

Examples are the assessment of the effects of building tidal power barrages on bird populations and the effects of the Cardiff Bay barrage on bird populations.

(ii) Assessing the effects of birds on man's activities

Certain populations of birds are likely to have potential negative impacts on man's activities such as the recent increase in Canada Geese in Great Britain. The BTO has assessed the survival and population change of Canada Geese within Great Britain as it has for fish-eating birds.

These independent studies ensure that conservation decisions are made on the best available evidence as the BTO does not campaign on any issues - it just provides the facts.

The long-term monitoring surveys and the detailed special projects have resulted in the BTO holding extensive databanks on bird distribution and population parameters. The BTO runs a data request service to supply information to those people requiring information from any of our surveys for specific sites where assessments of bird populations are required.

Further information may be obtained from either the Head of Projects or the Contracts Co-ordinator

Dates Referenced August 2001
Contact Details British Trust for Ornithology,
The Nunnery,
Norfolk IP24 2PU.

Tel: 01842 750050;
Fax: 01842 750030 

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Specific References (Please note - website addresses change frequently and all references are dated accordingly. If hyperlinks are no longer active, please inform us)

Reference Section of Website Specific Website link
  Ring Recovery Report Form http://www.bto.org/ringing/ringinfo/ring-found.htm

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