Birding for science and conservation. Explaining temporal changes in breeding bird diversity in the Netherlands.
This thesis describes, quantifies and explains changes in breeding bird diversity in the Netherlands in the past decades. The analyses are based on survey data on (changes in) distribution and abundance and ecological data on traits of breeding birds. A substantial part of these data is gathered by volunteers, people who go out into the field to count birds merely for the joy of it. Nevertheless, they are generally very skilled and use standard protocols for carrying out the field work, thus enabling scientifically sound analyses. The first paragraph of this general introduction focuses on birds as environmental indicators. The next two paragraphs deal with the merits of the contribution of volunteers to field ornithology. The fourth paragraph summarizes the most important historic changes in Dutch landscapes and breeding bird composition in the Netherlands, as a reference for the changes described in the following chapters. In the last two paragraphs the aim of this thesis and the research questions are described in more detail.
Birding for science and conservation
Van Turnhout C.A.M.