Conservation strategies aimed to sustain or increase forest biodiversity, need to be monitored
and assessed repeatedly in order to ensure their effectiveness. The importance of evaluation
systems within the management was stressed in the recent Swedish governmental
policy (2000/01:130) on land-use and forestry. Such systems for assessment are, however,
not established in Sweden.
At present, birds are not effectively utilized in conservation and forestry assessments.
Birds are suitable for use because, for example, their habitat requirements are often relatively
well understood, they are relatively easy surveyed and the bird species assemblage
often mirror other biodiversity in an area. Recent studies have also pointed out that some
common species display decreasing populations the last decade. Still, however, forest
birds are not in focus in any nation wide monitoring or assessment system.
WWF initiated this project to define an assessment system that relates forest landscape
characteristics to the diversity of forest birds. That is, analyses of the effects of conservation
efforts over time and monitoring of bird populations, combined in a single system
applicable in forest management.
During 2001 the project tested fieldwork, in two forest landscapes (850 and 3000 ha
surveyed), handling of data and analyses according to the suggested system. The results
in the study areas were concordant with documented ecological relationships and the field
staff reported no practical or conceptual difficulties included in the method. Thus, the
system is applicable practically and reflects bird-habitat relationships in forest landscapes
This report presents methods for the fieldwork, the focused species pool, the forest data
and the analyses for the monitoring system, designed for assessments of landscape management
in relation to the resident forest bird fauna over time. The suggested analyses may
serve as tools for evaluations of whether the management and conservation strategies are
sufficient for sustainable forest bird populations.
The fieldwork of this system may seem work intensive, and one may want rapid replies
on whether the management is on the right track or not. However, there are no shortcuts to
reliable answers regarding long-term effects of the management. Therefore, the sooner
evaluation systems are applied the better. This system could improve forest landscape
management and support to the fill the need for such systems in Sweden.
2001. , 20 p.