Habitat forms a natural way of classifying wildlife populations, such as woodland birds, but determining how many of which species might be found in a habitat patch and how numbers change over time is complex. Field surveys, analyses of scheme data and targeted experiments by BTO have investigated habitat composition effects, such as of woodland structure, farmland heterogeneity, connectivity among freshwaters and heathland vegetation, on bird abundance, movements, breeding success and survival.
Wader population trends on the UK's open coast
Newly published research from BTO underlines the importance of the UK’s rocky shores and sandy beaches for waterbird species.
The State of the UK's Birds 2020
Providing an annual overview of the status of the UK’s breeding and non-breeding bird species in the UK, this year’s report highlights the continuing poor fortunes of the UK’s woodland birds,...
Evaluating spatially explicit sharing‐sparing scenarios for multiple environmental outcomes
The urban sprawl
BTO's Head and Principal Ecologist, Gavin Siriwardena, explains how the urban landscape is affecting our wild bird populations.
BTO and COVID-19
BTO statement on participating in surveys during the Coronavirus pandemic (UPDATED 15.04.2021).
Survey determines drivers of House Martin breeding success
Latest research based on the House Martin Survey shows that one of the simplest ways to help House Martins is to provide artificial nesting cups.
BTO in Belarus: the Polesia project
Adham Ashton-Butt explains how BTO is involved in a cross-organisational project in Polesia, one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe.
Restoring and protecting Polesia wilderness
BTO is participating in species research and monitoring that is underpinning a large-scale landscape restoration project in Belarus and Ukraine, aimed at protecting and restoring the wetland...
Do drones disturb wintering waterbirds?
Newly published research, carried out by staff at BTO Scotland, has investigated the response to wintering waterbirds to drones, and shown that they can be easily scared into flight by drone use.
Can microclimate offer refuge to an upland bird species under climate change?
Climate change is now widely recognised as having a large impact on biodiversity, affecting species distributions at a large spatial scale. Previous BTO research has demonstrated a change in...
Earth Observation Data Integration Pilot Project 5 - Developing community and crowd-sourced validation of 'Living Maps'
Earth Observation data offer great potential for a range of terrestrial surveillance and management issues. Living Maps – land cover maps with a focus on priority semi-natural habitats – are...
Positive impacts of important bird and biodiversity areas on wintering waterbirds under changing temperatures throughout Europe and North Africa
Invasion of freshwater ecosystems is promoted by network connectivity to hotspots of human activity
Unlocking the science to reveal the state of nature
David Noble takes a sober look at the latest State of Nature Report.
Bird responses to housing development in intensively managed agricultural landscapes
Like in many countries, Britain faces the challenge of housing a growing population, but urban expansion to address this can lead to locally high rates of biodiversity loss, along with fragmentation...
<p>Habitat diversity and structure regulate British bird richness: Implications of non-linear relationships for conservation</p>
<p>Quantifying the importance of multi‐scale management and environmental variables on moorland bird abundance</p>
Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change
Spare or share to benefit biodiversity?
Agriculture is necessary to meet the food demands of an increasing human population, but it is also a leading threat to biodiversity, both because natural habitats are destroyed when land is...
Waders wane while geese gain
A major new study led by BTO, working with the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) partners, JNCC, RSPB and in association with WWT, provides detailed information on the importance of Great Britain for...
Habitat- and species-mediated short- and long-term distributional changes in waterbird abundance linked to variation in European winter weather.
Monitoring waders in NI grasslands
Investigating whether Northern Irish lowland grasslands are supporting breeding waders.
A tale of two plovers
BTO research sheds light on the differing fortunes of two small UK-breeding waders.
Review of data and monitoring options for assessing the status of breeding wader populations in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
This report assesses the availability and quality of information relating to breeding populations of six of the most numerous wader species (Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew,...
How birdwatchers can tell us about declining mammals
The UK’s mammals present particular challenges for monitoring; they live in a wide variety of habitats, vary enormously in size and can be very difficult to see, but as this paper shows,...