Finnish Museum of Natural History
Research and monitoring studies
Traditional bird ringing study aimed at a bird population is usually focused on a certain species at a specific restricted area. Research of this kind demands a high level of perseverance and the performer might well be just one ringer or a small and closely-knit group of ringers. An example of this kind of research is Pertti Saurola's study on Ural Owls. However, if one wishes to systematically ring a large number of birds of a certain species (or a species group) on a broad area quickly it is wise to rely on the help of the broad international bird ringers' unity and start a ringing project. This also holds if one wishes to study the target species at nest sites, during migration and at winter areas as well. An example of such a broad international bird ringing study is the EURING Swallow project.
The results from bird ringing studies can be used in monitoring and protecting bird populations. In monitoring studies one does not need to focus the ringing on all individuals of a certain species in a given area. Instead it is enough to take a certain sample of the bird population by the same method from year to year. The birds of prey monitoring study started in 1982, is a joint venture between the Ministry of the Environment and the Ringing Centre. A key part in the success of the birds of prey project has been the voluntary work of the ringers. Without them this study could never have been undertaken at the present scale. As with the Osprey project, a strong starting point in the birds of prey project has been the protective point of view. The data provided by both studies can be, and has been used in protecting the target species. A monitoring programme aimed at net ringers called CES also exists. Corresponding programmes are running in other parts of Europe as well.