2022 was another busy year for bird monitoring in the Framework project. Our famers and scientists were working hard to survey countless transects and present their findings in meetings across our European famer clusters. In this blog you will find a collection of just some of the bird monitoring activity which our project partners undertook this year.
In our French cluster, INRAE worked hard not only in monitoring, but also to enhance farmer interest for agrobiodiversity and its monitoring. INRAE co-organized with the GRAB partner and GRCETA advisers a practical session to observe and recognize occupancies of nest boxes and bat houses at orchard margins (13/09/2022) and an online reporting session about nest occupancies (30/11/2022). The two training sessions were tutored by Brice Lemaire from Agrinichoir – find out more at these links:
To conduct the monitoring itself, at least one apple orchard per farm was chosen by each farmer to conduct agrobiodiversity monitoring. Then, one 500m-transect crossing this selected orchard by farmer was defined for the monitoring of the bird, butterfly and bumblebee biodiversity pan-trap sampling for scientific evaluation. A total of sixteen 500m-transects were selected for the scientific monitoring in 2022. Three additional transects were defined in January for the 2022 campaign in order to support evaluation of biodiversity changes with the instalment of boxes for birds and bats. Brice Lemaire (Agrinichoir) monitored the occupancy by the great tit of 300 nest boxes and by bats of 300 house boxes (26-30/09/2022) and cleaned the nest boxes.
The table below shows details of some of these monitoring periods, with the bird monitoring highlighted.
In this second year of monitoring in our Spanish cluster, FA carried out bird monitoring in April and June 2022 using the bird protocol prepared by GWCT (WP5). Based on the instructions, the areas were divided into 1 km2 zones and transects were planned on the project plots (Experimental and Control), covering a route of 1 km. With the incorporation of the “Colín” plots to the project in 2022, a new transect (D1) was included in the experimental area. For the field work, the mobile application “Mapit Spatial” was used again.
The monitoring was conducted on: April 19th and 21th 2022 (experimental) and 29th 2022 (control) for the first round; and, June 1st 2022 (experimental) and June 3rd (control) for the second round.
Finally, in Austria BOKU conducted further monitoring and were also able to present their results at a farmer cluster meeting.
Prior to the start of the monitoring survey, bird transects (n=16) and BHC transects (n=96) for pollinator and vegetation monitoring were determined through various communications between BOKU Team and farm owners (meetings, emails, and phone calls). The location of transects in each farm was determined based on existing habitat maps and crops grown in 2022. Upon request of the farmers, BOKU prepared supplementary contracts concerning the location of BHCs, bird transects and vegetations & pollinator monitoring transects for each farm which were signed by BOKU officials and the farmers.
The bird monitoring was performed by Johannes Hohenegger in May and June and below is a poster presented at the 3rd FC workshop showing the preliminary results of birds monitoring in control and cluster farms of BOKU FC for the year 2022.