Starting 2012 with determination, CEH (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) hosted a Director-led visit from BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) on 6th January to discuss collaborations in the development of biodiversity monitoring. Both organisations have complementary strengths in collating, analyzing, and interpreting data from volunteer recorders across a range of taxa including birds. The meeting reflected a range of current priorities for each organisation in the development of online recording systems. We undertook to engage in further technical collaborations to agree an approach to ensure we maintain complementarity of systems such as BirdTrack and Indicia.
CEH and BTO recognised the importance of bringing joint expertise to bear in driving forward the Government and nature conservation agency agenda on monitoring biodiversity, and will convene a joint meeting with JNCC and other government agencies to that effect. We intend to publish a short joint statement outlining our view of common strategic principles for biodiversity monitoring, and this will serve as a working protocol between us.
Mark Bailey said: “Closer working between CEH and BTO to promote recording by volunteers will improve the quality and coverage of data available for monitoring biodiversity and change in the UK and for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. CEH is committed to the continued support of biological recording communities through collaboration with BTO and national recording schemes and societies, and to providing online systems for the management and distribution of data and information through the Biological Records Centre and the National Biodiversity Network.
Andy Clements said, “Working together to ensure that the community of volunteer biodiversity recorders continues to grow, and receives the most appropriate support at different levels of expertise is vital. Our respective on-line services and data engagement, together with broader collaborations across the Wildlife NGO sector, is a demonstration of real leadership.”