On the 11th of November 2023 the XIV. Annual Monitoring Meeting took place in Cluj. After an interruption of two years, the event organized by the Romanian Ornithological Society in partnership with the Milvus Group Association came back to the city where this tradition was born.
The Monitoring Meeting offers a frame in which those who activate in bird monitoring can present their results, exchange ideas, or even convince the audience to take part in the various monitoring programmes.
But it wasn’t all about ornithological programmes, as both entomologists and herpetologists diversified the meeting presenting monitoring programmes from our country.
The event, hosted by the Biology and Geology Faculty of the Babeș-Bolyai University, was quite popular, with around 150 people attending the sessions.
The start of the meeting was given by the Common Bird Monitoring Programme (the traditional host of the event), by presenting the up-to-date state of the birds in Romania, based on data from the 17 years of the programme. The international flavour of the event was brought by the presentation of the sister programme from the Republic of Moldova, started 2 years ago.
Our colleagues presented the situation of the Saker Falcon in Southern Romania as well as the habitat requirements that influence the nest site selection of this emblematic species.
Other monitoring programmes offered information regarding the population status of different target species (be it from national programmes, like Monitoring of Nocturnal Birds or the Red-footed Falcon Monitoring, or from local programmes, like the Region of the Făgăraș Mountains). The presentations of other taxonomic groups offered diversity to the event either by generic monitoring programmes (European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme) or specific ones (like the monitoring of Praying Mantis species or the Meadow Viper).
Bird ringing had a special place at the event, the different banding programmes (Agigea Bird Observatory, Chituc Ringing Camp, Sacalin Island and the Ringing of Large Gulls in Eastern Romania) offering results from the continuous activities of the past years.
The event was closed, as usual, with the presentation of the rare bird sightings of the last years in Romania, including the first records of some species for the Romanian fauna – occasions that induce a justified enthusiasm among birders.
All the results presented would not have been possible without the priceless and constant help of the hundreds of volunteers taking part in the various monitoring programmes. Monitoring needs a constant and ongoing effort and it’s the only way to keep under observation the population status of the studied species. Without those couple of hundred enthusiasts who participate in data collection, we wouldn’t have a clear image of the status of the species and their changes in time, information that is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity.