The Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas is an online tool, coordinated by the European Union for Bird Ringing (EURING), that provides information on the movement of 300 species of migratory birds during their journeys between Eurasia and the African continent.
This atlas has two peculiarities that make it particularly exceptional: the first is that the geographical area it covers is massive. Normally, the atlases that determine the distribution, abundance and even movements made by birds are limited to a region, country or, at most, a continent. This, on the other hand, follows all these birds throughout their entire flyway that includes, in some cases, up to three of these continents.
The second characteristic that makes it so interesting is that it complements the data obtained through ringing schemes throughout Europe, with those that come from monitoring studies of specific individuals. In doing so, the information generated by the ringing of millions of individuals in a very broad geographical context is combined with much more detailed information on the precise movement of a few specimens equipped with electronic geolocation devices or GPS transmitters.
This valuable tool also allows us to have information on four specific aspects that are especially relevant for the conservation of birds on an international scale: historical changes in migratory patterns, intentional mortality caused by humans, the migratory phenology of hunted species and migratory connectivity within the European-African migratory system.
Stephen Baillie, who works at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), has been one of the coordinators of this great project and in his conference he will tell us about it in great detail.