Habitat forms a natural way of classifying wildlife populations, such as woodland birds, but determining how many of which species might be found in a habitat patch and how numbers change over time is complex. Field surveys, analyses of scheme data and targeted experiments by BTO have investigated habitat composition effects, such as of woodland structure, farmland heterogeneity, connectivity among freshwaters and heathland vegetation, on bird abundance, movements, breeding success and survival.
Species- or habitat- based assessments of vulnerability to climate change? Informing climate change adaptation in special protection areas for birds in England
In this paper, two approaches commonly adopted by Natural England for climate change vulnerability assessments were used to assess the vulnerability to climate change of Special Protection Areas...
Spatially targeted nature-based solutions can mitigate climate change and nature loss but require a systems approach
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the greatest challenges humankind is currently facing. A growing coalition of countries are now pledging to achieve net zero emissions, which means...
Anthropogenic climate and land-use change drive short-and long-term biodiversity shifts across taxa
This collaborative research involving BTO attempted to start understanding how habitat change and climate change interact. The study examined changes in over 1,000 bird, butterfly, moth and plant...
Distance functions of carabids in crop fields depend on functional traits, crop type and adjacent habitat: a synthesis
Using butterfly survey data to model habitat associations in urban developments
This study used data from 160 urban sites in England, collected by volunteers taking part in the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey, in which BTO is a partner. Butterflies were chosen as the species...
Linking climate warming and land conversion to species’ range changes across Great Britain
The most notable changes over the past 75 years have been an increase in temperature and a loss of roughly 90% of lowland meadow and pasture, mainly converted to arable farmland and improved...
Lasso Penalisation identifies consistent trends over time in landscape and climate factors influencing the wintering distribution of the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata)
Butterflies find safe haven in UK gardens
Data from 7,971 gardens between 2007 and 2020 have been used to produce garden-specific abundance trends for 22 widespread butterfly species.
Landscape fires disproportionally affect areas of conservation priority but only under low moisture conditions
This study identified five fires reaching more than 100 km2, a threshold often used to classify ‘megafires’. Frequent spring and summer fires predominantly started in agricultural areas, where...
Inconsistent relationships between area, heterogeneity and plant species richness in temperate farmed landscapes
Curlew collaboration to boost breeding success
Research from BTO and the University of East Anglia reveals how land management can support the breeding success of this declining species.
Urban and coastal breeding lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) segregate by foraging habitat
A tale of two warblers
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) results show very different population trends for Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff - but what is driving this difference? BTO research reveals climate is key.
An assessment of relative habitat use as a metric for species’ habitat association and degree of specialization
Habitat selection and specialisation of Herring Gulls during the non-breeding season
New collaborative BTO research has used GPS to provide insights into the movements and habitat needs of Herring Gulls outside the breeding season. Researcher fixed GPS tags to 20 Herring Gulls...
<p>Long-term effects of rewilding on species composition: 22 years of raptor monitoring in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone</p>
Over 2,000 km² of Belarus previously given over to intensive agriculture and dense settlements was affected by the 1986 reactor meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in Ukraine. Since then,...
Multi-taxa spatial conservation planning reveals similar priorities between taxa and improved protected area representation with climate change
Pinpointing which protected area characteristics help community response to climate warming: waterbirds in the European Union’s Natura 2000 network
Resilient protected area network enables species adaptation that mitigates the impact of a crash in food supply
Oystercatcher numbers are declining in the UK, in line with the trends for wader species globally, and with ever greater anthropogenic changes to wader habitats, it is vital we understand the...
Sensitivity mapping for breeding waders
Models to be used towards the development of tools to guide, inform and minimise conflict between wader conservation and forest expansion.
Spatial and temporal differences in migration strategies among endangered European Greater Spotted Eagles Clanga clanga
Supporting our colleagues in Ukraine ...
Assessing drivers of winter abundance change in Eurasian Curlews Numenius arquata in England and Wales
GPS tracking reveals landfill closures induce higher foraging effort and habitat switching in gulls
During the 20th century, gull populations across the globe increased rapidly in response to human activities, with the availability of waste food in landfill sites a key driver of their success....