Polish Bird Survey - OTOP

Basic information

The Polish Bird Survey (MPP), carried out since 2007, is commissioned by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection as a component of the State Environmental Monitoring. The Survey is fully financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

Currently, it is conducted by the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (as the coordinating organisation).
Between 2010-2012, the Survey was carried out by OTOP (the coordinating organisation), the Ornithological Station MIZ PAS, the Eagle Conservation Committee (KOO) and the Owl Conservation Association (SOS), as well as the PTOP “Salamandra”.

The priority goal of the Survey is to monitor the population of as many bird species as possible, with a special focus on the Natura 2000 special protection areas. This complex monitoring scheme covers 164 breeding bird species and 33 wintering bird species, including 47 species listed in Annex I to the Birds Directive. The Survey is divided into sub-surveys, each of which uses methods adjusted to the features of the monitored group of species or to individual bird species.

The structure of the Survey

The Survey consists of 25 sub-surveys, conducted by five partners:

  • the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Ornithological Station of the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
    • Flagship Bird Species Survey
    • Wetland Bird Survey
    • Crane Roost Survey
    • Mediterranean Gull Survey
    • Whooper Swan Survey
    • Ferruginous Duck survey
    • Dunlin (C. a. schinzii) Survey
  • Eagle Conservation Committee
    • Raptor Survey
    • Golden Eagle Survey
    • Greater Spotted Eagle Survey
    • Osprey Survey
    • White-tailed Eagle Productivity Survey
  •  Owl Conservation Society
    • Forest Breeding Owl Survey
  •  PTOP “Salamandra”
    • Geese Roost Survey

A detailed description of the surveys can be found at www.monitoringptakow.gios.gov.pl.

Two sub-surveys are a continuation of the plans that had been running earlier. The MPPL has been carried out by OTOP since 2000 (with initial collaboration of the Ornithological Station of the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS). The Flagship Bird Species Survey is a continuation of a survey launched in 2001 and has always been coordinated by the Ornithological Station of the Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS.

For groups of species (e.g. owls or raptors) data on their numbers are acquired through surveys in sample plots (e.g.  1 km x 1 km or 10 km x 10 km), selected by representative sampling of the area of distribution of the target species. In the case of rare species, censuses of the whole of their known breeding range are carried out, focusing on surveys of known breeding sites (current and historical), which are supplemented by searching for new sites. Wintering and migratory birds are recorded in the areas that hold their largest aggregations.

Each survey is managed by a coordinator, who supervises organisation of fieldwork, which is carried out by highly qualified birdwatchers. Only the MPPL and the MZPW are coordinated at two tiers: beside the country coordinator, the work of about 300 volunteers is managed by a group of regional coordinators.


The basic population size parameters that are yielded by the surveys include the numbers or an index of numbers of the breeding population, as well as occupancy, which is percent fraction of Poland’s area occupied by a given species.  In addition, for a group of selected species indices of productivity are assessed, such as the number of fledglings calculated for all pairs with known brood fate, and the number of fledglings calculated only for the nests with at least one fledgling (i.e. successful nests). The database containing all the results is available at the MPP web site and synthetic reports are published in the “Biuletyn Monitoringu Przyrody” (Nature Monitoring Bulletin). (see the Download section in the MPPL page)



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