Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.10. (2000) p.1-16.

New methods and possibilities in bird monitoring
Szép Tibor

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The study of the populations and changes in the population size of bird species is one of the greatest traditional research efforts conducted over the largest spatial and temporal scales in the biological sciences in the world and in Hungary as well. Birds are the most intensively studied animals in ecology and behavioural ecology, and their monitoring has been carried out by a network of numerous skilled amateur and professional observers efficiently covering landscapes, regions and entire countries throughout the world as well as in Hungary. Besides the early monitoring work focusing mostly on rare and threatened bird species and mainly on their status, nowadays the application of birds in the monitoring of biological diversity as indicators of adverse habitat changes is facilitated more and more. These new monitoring programmes focus mainly on common birds, the populations of which require new methods, that are different from previous practice, both in the field part and the organisation and analysis part of the programme. In this paper, I discuss (i) the main objectives of bird monitoring, (ii) the proposed priorities of selecting species and methods for monitoring and (iii) a model for a monitoring programme which uses bird species as indicators of habitat changes on the example of the Mindennapi Madaraink Monitoringja (MMM) (Monitoring of Common Birds) project in Hungary.