npa. Currently, extensive monitoring of Europe’s breeding bird population – which was launched in 2013 and will run until 2017 – is being done in order to gain a full-scale scientific overview of the species.
First of all, the species’ distribution and abundance are to be examined – an acquisition of data meant to enable the exact collection and depiction of breeding occurrence.
In order to be able to systematically examine the data, the respective countries are being divided in a grid of 50x50 km squares. Ornithologists and knowledgeable volunteers familiar with the birds and their voices are to patrol within one of these squares for two hours each whilst observing, listening and recording.
Switzerland itself is famous for its high-quality national atlas of breeding birds, which is periodically renewed. Consequently, Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach assists countries with fewer financial resources and fewer volunteers for data collection.
In Albania, for instance, Mr and Mrs Ernst of Klingenthal, Germany, undertook several expeditions for the second European Breeding Bird Atlas, EBBA 2. Due to hunting and deforestation, Albania does not have much of a bird population. Within a time period of three weeks, the Ernsts were able to record a total number of 132 species only.
The situation does not look quite as bleak in Montenegro. Here, the salines of Ulcinj and Tivat, the wetlands of Buljarica as well as the sand dunes of Bojana’s estuary play an important role as a breeding ground. European Rollers, Eurasian Stone-curlews, Common Kingfishers, Collared Pratincoles, Pygmy Cormorants, Black-winged Stilts, Long-eared Owls, Little Terns, Common Terns, Little Owls, waders, Eurasian Hoopoes, Spanish Sparrows and many more are breeding regularly in the saline of Ulcinj. Without the flooding by water, these birds would most certainly disappear.
Lastly, a high number of breeding birds is also a good indicator of a country being conscious of its ecological goals. Montenegro has made those goals a priority by writing them into their constitution.
(Translation Current Concerns)
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