Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.12-13. (2003) p.63-75.

Point count census using volunteers of terrestrial breeding birds in Norway, and its status after six years
M. Husby

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At present two monitoring programmes for terrestrial breeding birds are being undertaken in Norway. The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (DN) funds oneprogramme, which began in 1990, has paid fieldworkers. The other census programme, begun in 1995 and described here, is run by the Norwegian Ornithological Society in co-operation with Nord-Trondelag University College (HiNT). Its fieldwork involves unpaid volunteers who choose their own routes, each of 20 points. The number of participants has increased but slowly from the start so that in 2000 just 69 routes were investigated. These routes are unevenly distributed geographically, very few being in northern Norway. From the results, it is uncertain if the indices for the various bird species tell us only about changes in these routes, or if the data can be extrapolated to inform us about Norwegian populations. The paper discusses advantages and disadvantages of the census programme. The conclusion is that a new programme is needed and it is hoped to start in 2001. Because of the uneven distribution of volunteers and of the extremely difficult terrain, a semi-random approach will be applied. The country will be divided into regions, Of which five regions will be chosen and divided into 18km -B×18km squares. Within each chosen region 20 squares will be selected randomly. Each square will have 20 points determined according to a prescribed procedure. The information to be gathered at each point in the survey is discussed. This programme will be funded by DN, HiNT, and by companies sponsoring individual species. Participants in this new programme will have their expenses covered. Data on distribution and densities of Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus and Chiffchaff P. collybita in Norway show exclusive competition between the species. The volunteer programme will continue.