Filter by
Demographic population monitoring

Making demographic processes visible

Changes in bird populations are the result of demographic processes: survival, reproduction, immigration and emigration. Understanding these processes is not only of scientific interest, but also a prerequisite for effective conservation and management.

Domain Research
Unit Population Biology
Topic Ecology, Population Development
Habitat alpine habitats, farmland, forest, meadows and pastures, rivers & streams, rocky terrain, semi-open farmland, settlements, wasteland, wetlands
Project start 2020
Project status ongoing
Project management Michael Schaub
Project region Switzerland


Project objectives

The demography of selected species is monitored over as long a period as possible. The aim is to better understand the causes of population changes. This information is used to inform conservation and management measures and for scientific purposes.


Survival data are collected by ringing, and breeding data are collected by observing nests. These data are mainly sampled by volunteers, either as part of species-specific projects (population studies) or at the Constant Effort sites. Data collection is coordinated by the ringing centre. These data are periodically analysed with population count data and published in reports or scientific journals.


Knowledge of demography is crucial to understanding why bird populations have changed and how they will change in the future. Predictions are particularly important when the environment is changing rapidly, for example due to habitat loss or climate change.


Analysis of data on kestrels has shown that individuals breeding in nest boxes produce surpluses that disperse to neighbouring populations. This shows that the installation of nest boxes not only has a local effect, but can also have a positive impact on other populations, making them a very effective conservation measure.

Project partner(s)



Species concerned

Alpine Swift
Bearded Vulture
Northern Lapwing
Common Swift
Common Barn-owl
Little Owl
European Pied Flycatcher
Common Kestrel
Tawny Owl
White Stork
Other resources
Vogelberingung in der Schweiz (in German)
Bestandsüberwachung durch Beringung (in German)
Populationsbiologie trägt zum Vogelschutz bei (in German)
Population Biology link

Population Biology

We study the populations and distribution of species and species communities, as well as the factors that cause their changes across space and time.

Learn more

Additional projects

Help the birds of Switzerland.
Your support allows us to monitor stocks, identify problems, develop solutions and provide assistance to endangered species.
Donate Now
Logo Zewo

We handle the donations entrusted to us very carefully. For many years, the Swiss Ornithological Institute has carried the ZEWO seal of approval for non-profit institutions.