Population trends of breeding birds in the ecologically upgraded Rhine valley (canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland)

  • Published source details Rudin M., Horch P., Hugentobler I., Weber U. & Birrer S. (2010) Bestandsentwicklung von Brutvögeln im ökologisch aufgewerteten St. Galler Rheintal. Der Ornithologische Beobachter, 107, 81-100.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Increase the proportion of semi-natural habitat in the farmed landscape

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Increase the proportion of semi-natural habitat in the farmed landscape

    A replicated site comparison study of Ecological Compensation Areas (ECAs) created over 97 ha from 1993 in Switzerland (Rudin et al., 2010) found that between 1988 and 2006 the number of bird species remained stable in the entire study area, but increased on ECAs (high-value areas and areas of no special ecological value).  Numbers declined on remaining land-use types, only slightly in nature reserves and considerably on cultivated land. More of the 22 breeding bird species recorded were within the nature reserves than ECAs or cultivated land.  Population trends were calculated for 12 common species, of which five increased, five decreased and two remained stable. Population increases prevailed in nature reserves and high-value ECAs.  Negative population trends were seen on ECAs of no special ecological value and cultivated land.  ECAs included wetlands and flower-rich meadows.  Breeding bird data were collected in 1988, 1989, 1999 and 2006 in different land use areas.

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