The 20th EBP meeting brings together 49 people from 21 different countries in Brno (Czech Republic)

The meeting was organized by the Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO) and took place during November 20-21 at the Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Brno. 

This time, the EBP meeting had a different format than previous ones as it included a LIFE EBP Reinforcement workshop aimed to support the completion of the EBP data flow by means of adding all the species recorded in Europe and by properly identifying and characterizing all data submitted using particular protocols (e.g. standard monitoring projects, nocmig, project specific field protocols, etc). Moreover, just after this meeting, during November 22-25, a second LIFE EBP Reinforcement workshop was organized at the same place, though this one only was open to the partners of the seven target countries of the LIFE project in SE Europe (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia). 

The participants in front of the Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

The meeting was attended by 49 persons from 21 different countries and started on Monday afternoon with the welcoming words of Jan Zukal, director of the Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and Verena Keller, chair of the EBCC. 

Then the representatives of Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Malta gave a brief presentation about each organization and a description of their needs regarding standard bird monitoring/online bird portals and how they would like to meet these needs thanks to the LIFE project. 

The session continued with an overview of the LIFE EBP Reinforcement project, the EBBA2 Live Farmland project and the International Census Plots (ICP) project and finished talking about the protocols table and its relevance to properly identify and characterize all data submitted using more elaborate data collection procedures (e.g. standard monitoring projects, nocmig, project specific field protocols, etc). 

The meeting was attended by 49 persons from 21 different countries

The Tuesday morning session started with an overview about the EBP data standard and the EBP data flow system and with the presentation of the overall approach that will be followed to add the data of the new species and the protocols information (timings, how to deal with new/old data, etc) to the EBP data flow (see LIFE WorPackage 8 for more information on this task). 

The morning session finished discussing about taxonomy. It was agreed that, to develop the LIFE WorPackage 8, the EBP would follow the last version of the HBW-BirdLife taxonomy (version 8.0). It was stressed that this work will also require the mapping of the taxonomy of each local portal to the EBP one, a work that will be carried out by each local portal with the support of the EBP coordination team. 

The first part of the Tuesday afternoon session was devoted to cover some EBP topics that were less directly related to the LIFE project. This included a brief update of the EBP project and the new EFSA-EBP-EURING contract and the presentation of one of the first outputs of this work: the implementation of the Bird Flu Radar in the new Migration Mapping Tool and the creation of an automatic alert system. 

The session continued with the presentation of the results of a paper that analysed the geographical patterns of arrival of 30 common migrant bird species using EBP data and the GBIF Humboldt extension, an extension of the GBIF code that will allow GBIF to correctly store and handle the datasets collected using more structured protocols (e.g. complete lists). 

Coffee breaks gave plenty of space to continue conversations

Finally, it was commented that the next in-person EBP meeting will take place in SE Europe in autumn 2024, most probably October. As the one taking place in Brno, it was pointed out that this meeting will be again a combination of a regular EBP meeting a various LIFE EBP Reinforcement workshops (two linked to the EBP viewer and, thus, of overall interest to the EBP community, and one focused on the partners of SE Europe and the regional dynamization campaign that will be organized in that area in 2025 and 2026). 

The meeting finalised with a session devoted to discuss the use of data collected outside primary areas by EBP and the local partners. Here, representatives from, eBird, Ornitho and Trektellen explained which were the technical and legal possibilities of these portals in terms of sharing observations and personal information with the local partners. 

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