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Woodland Bird Index for Austria

The main task are indicator update, review of representiveness and knowledge transfer.

Biodiversity is of great importance for the stability of ecosystems and the balance in nature, and various indicators are used to assess its state. One of these indicators is the Woodland Bird Index (WBI), which measures the population trends of birds in wooded areas and is also a good indicator of overall biodiversity.

Austria’s forests are one of the most important habitats for native birds; approximately half of all Austrian breeding bird species are influenced in some way by developments in forest habitats. The WBI has proven itself as an indicator for biodiversity in Austria in recent years and is also intended to serve as an indicator in the future based on the Austrian Biodiversity Strategy.

However, the current situation of the WBI has some issues that limit its usability or significance. These shortcomings are to be addressed and corrected with this project. In order to depict a trend of the WBI, it should be calculated for the period 1998–2023. The selection of indicator species as well as the representativeness of data collection will be evaluated. Furthermore, the climate sensitivity of the indicator species will be analyzed and provided in a matrix. This will subsequently serve as a helpful tool for assessing the connections in the context of climate change.

Project details:

This project is funded by the Biodiversity Fund of the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology.
Project team: BirdLife Österreich (Lead) and Austrian Research Centre for Forests

Project management: Frederik Sachser,