Common Breeding Birds


The indicator of the bird, which familiar to the general public, is an excellent indicator of environmental health.







Indicator Details


Population of selected taxa

PSBR model type

State (S)

Corresponding targets

Aichi Biodiversity Targets

Target 19: By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.

Biodiversity Action Plan

D12030 Strengthen the research on population changes of indicator animals, plants, and microorganisms. Key performance indicator of the action plan:

  • Research projects on the change of indicator species


Birds are a well-known taxon to the public, which has long-term monitoring data and is considered to be an excellent indicator of environmental health. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a large-scale and long-term survey project for common birds. The project incorporates government agencies and non-governmental organizations, through the participation of citizen scientists, to monitor the populations of common birds in Taiwan with the same standardized survey methods. Through the temporal and spatial changes of common bird populations, the relationship between the environment and bird populations is derived which provides important information for management and decision-making.

Definition and Calculation

Raw data is the survey results on 92 common bird species in Taiwan from different years, which represents the spatial density and temporal frequency of bird monitoring. The Common Breeding Bird indicator uses the population data of common bird species obtained from surveys within a specific year as the baseline and the tally of population data from different locations and years to calculate the number of birds in different habitats. The code of the diagram is listed as the following:

Codes Represented habitats
A Forest
B Farmland
C Herbal vegetation
D Freshwater
E Fish farm and salt field
F Coastal areas
G Buildings
H Others

The data and temporal range

Annual Tally Data of Common Breeding Birds from Monitoring Projects (2009–2017)


According to the trend diagram, from 2017 to 2019, the overall bird population shows a trend of gradual increase. However, the bird species that prefer farmlands within the range of human activity are increasing(, while bird species that prefer natural habitats away from humans are decreasing). The reason would be the degradation of natural habitats due to the expansion of human activities or the invasion of alien species, which changes the ratios of the two types of birds. The actual reason needs further verification via examing the changes in locations and landscapes together with the changes in populations.

Data Management Authorities

Endemic Species Research Institute, Council of Agriculture


Website of Breeding Birds Survey (BBS)

Data Development Status


Data Providers

Endemic Species Research Institute, Council of Agriculture

Investigation Year