White storks census in Romania due between June 15 and July 15

Once every 10 years, white storks throughout Europe are subject to an international census, coordinated by our partners in Germany, the Union for the Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity (NABU). The year 2024 will be the year of the eighth such census. In Romania, the international census of white storks will take place between June 15 and July 15.
White storks are charismatic, well-known and loved, and the species has often been used as an indicator to highlight environmental issues, particularly wetland loss, changes in agricultural practices, and climate change. Trends in the world population of white storks have been tracked through regular international counts since 1934, making the census of this species one of the oldest international biodiversity monitoring programs.
The Romanian Ornithological Society and the Association for the Protection of Birds and Nature “Milvus Group” have been monitoring this species since 1994, and since 2017 the collection of data by professional ornithologists or our volunteers is carried out with the help of the application Uite Barza! or OpenBirdMaps.
“The census of white storks contributes to the improvement of knowledge about the nesting population of the species in Romania, so that effective protection measures can be implemented in the long term, such as the installation of nest supports where necessary, both to protect the birds, as well as the electrical network, but also the improvement of agricultural practices (or the preservation of traditional ones) in order to stop the degradation of the habitats used by the species or to carry out works to restore these habitats”, said Cristian Domșa, the census coordinator, from the SOR.
“Having the data collected through the monitoring program, we could see a decline in population in many lowland areas, e.g. in the Western Plain, and in parallel an increase in the population in some hilly areas at the foot of the Carpathians. These changes are most likely due to agricultural practices that are becoming more and more intensive and unfavorable to nature in the lowland area, respectively to climate change. Population monitoring is very important to understand the threats facing the stork population” – concluded Tamás Papp, executive director of the “Milvus Group” Association.
In 2014 white storks were reviewed in 48 countries in Europe, North Africa and Asia. Previous international census data was collected by BirdLife International partners, NGOs, scientific institutes and volunteers.
White storks nest all over the territory of our country, from sea level to the maximum altitude of 1,100 meters. The national census is conducted in all 3,186 territorial administrative units (UAT, communes or cities) in Romania. Unlike in previous years, when stork nest recording was carried out by our volunteers on their occasional trips around the country, this year it will be necessary to systematically traverse all localities in order to collect complete data on the number of occupied nests and chicks in each nest.
SOR invites all lovers of these wonderful birds to take part in this census and choose the localities where they will do the census by registering in this form. Once a territorial administrative unit (municipality, city) is chosen, it must be fully and systematically covered (all localities must be fully checked).
After registration, volunteers will be contacted by one of the partner organizations (depending on the option chosen). All volunteers will benefit from training and consulting throughout the duration of the census and… the most diligent, from prizes.
biodiversitycensusRomaniaromanian ornithological societysorwhite storks
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