Distribution and population
trends of birds
in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
The state of birdlife reflects our relationship with nature and our landscapes. The atlas presents the current distribution, abundance and altitudinal distribution of all breeding birds in Switzerland and Liechtenstein with unprecedented precision. Most importantly, it highlights the profound changes that have taken place in the Swiss avifauna over the past 20 to 60 years. This comprehensive reference book provides an important foundation for the protection and conservation of native birds and their habitats.
Available in German, French and Italian
During four years, more than 2000 volunteers were out in the field documenting the bird populations of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Their effort has resulted in a unique overview of the distribution and current state of our breeding birds.
«Thanks to the dedication of more than 2000 volunteer collaborators, a wealth of data was collected that describes the state of our native birdlife in detail.»
«For the next 20 years, the Swiss Breeding Bird Atlas 2013–2016 will be the standard work of reference when it comes to assessing the state of our native bird communities and how they are changing over time.»
Overall, the number of species has remained constant since 1993–1996. But many breeding bird species have declining populations and are also experiencing range loss.
Many long-distance migrants have lost ground. Insectivores in particular are in steady decline.
Several birds of prey have made a longterm recovery. These popular, iconic birds are well protected by law.
The effects of global warming are clearly visible and have caused several species to move to higher ground.
Farmland birds have suffered the greatest losses. While the lowlands are most affected, pressure is increasing in the mountains as well.
Several woodland species have increased in number. The growing forest area, nature-friendly forest management and more deadwood have given woodland birds a boost.
Conservation action has become essential. Recovery measures have succeeded in reversing the trend for several threatened species.
Countless individuals, organisations and institutions contributed to the success of the 2013–2016 breeding bird atlas in a number of ways. Special thanks goes to all field ornithologists who collected the data used in the production of the atlas.
We estimate that volunteer observers spent a total of about 3.9 working years on fieldwork and travelled 46 438 km.
«Overall, the results of the large bird census are sobering. This is due to the fact that a number of species had to leave their feathers untouched, especially birds from the agricultural area.»
Special thanks goes to the following donors for their generous support.