Reporting under Article 12 of the Birds Directive

Introduction to status and trends of bird species

Article 12 of the Birds Directive requires Member States to report about the progress made with the implementation of the Birds Directive. Prior to the reporting period 2008-2012 the Commission in agreement with Member States has revised the reporting procedure in order to focus the reporting on data related to the status of bird populations, thereby streamlining the reporting with the reporting under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive. The Article 12 report contains information on status and trends of bird populations together with information on main pressures and threats. The report further contains information related to the impact of the Natura 2000 network and conservation measures. An important component of the Article 12 report is a map of breeding distribution mapped using a 10x10 km grid.

Article 12 reports from Member States

The Article 12reports prepared by Member States have two sections; (i) general information about the implementation of the Directive, (ii) the bird species’ status and trends. The information on birds’ status and trends is provided for all species occurring on the Member State’s territory. For the majority of species the status and trends are estimated during the breeding season, but for a selection of bird species also the status and trends during the winter seasons were reported.

The information on content of the reports from Member States and on methods used can be accessed through the Article 12 Reference page

Information on the reports submitted by Member States before the streamlining with Article 17 reporting under the Habitats Directive is available here.

EU population status of birds

The EU population status of all wild birds occurring within the EU was assessed using an agreed standardized methodology, which is based principally on the EU level trend and population size. These are obtained by aggregation of data reported by the Member States. The first step in the EU population status assessment process was to assess whether taxa are regionally threatened according to the IUCN regional criteria for ‘Threatened’ species. Species almost meeting the IUCN criteria for Threatened species were assessed as ‘Near Threatened’. Species not meeting the IUCN criteria for ‘Threatened’ or for ‘Near Threatened’ but with recorded declines in EU population were assessed as ‘Declining’ or ‘Depleted’. Species not assessed as any of these categories are considered ‘Secure’. The species with important data gaps are assessed as ‘Unknown’.

The methods for the assessment of population status at the EU level are described here.