You are here
The UG’s Bird Migration Research Station to coordinate a research network of bird ringing stations
On 9 June 2017 a new agreement was introduced which establishes a research network under the name of Krajowa Sieć Stacji Obrączkowania Ptaków (KSSOP/National Network of Bird Ringing Stations), thus bringing together all Polish bird ringing stations which focus on research into small birds, mainly passerines. The KSSOP brings together a total of 6 entities which run 8 field stations. Three of these are run by the UG’s Bird Migration Research Station (TSOP Bukowo-Kopań, TSOP Hel and TSOP Mierzeja Wiślana) which also initiated the establishment of the KSSOP and serves as the network’s statutory seat and work coordinator, with an employee of the Station, Dr Eng. Jarosław K. Nowakowski being chosen head of the Network Council.
The objective of the KSSOP is to conduct joint scientific research into migratory birds and their protection as well as conducting educational activity in this domain. Plans include the creation of a joint database and operating a domestic Large-area Monitoring of Migratory Birds (WMPW), which it is hoped will become part of the national system of environmental monitoring coordinated by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection.
As a rule, research networks are established by universities and divisions of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The KSSOP is an exception in that it brings together universities and non-governmental organisations. Apart from the University of Gdańsk, the network also comprises the Jagiellonian University and the University of Białystok, with non-governmental organisations represented by the Baltic Action Foundation (Field Branch Kaliszany), the Silesian Ornithological Society and the Carpatica Association. This ratio of three universities to three non-governmental organisations stresses the role of voluntary work in research into bird migration. Ornithology, and research into bird migration in particular, forms the best developed element of so-called citizen science in Poland. This trend in conducting scientific research, which is increasing in popularity worldwide, is about including amateurs interested in a given domain in the collecting of research material and conducting preliminary analysis.
Another unique element of the agreement which establishes the KSSOP is its 20-year durability, with the option of extension. In many branches of contemporary science this is rather difficult to imagine, with 2- or 3-year projects being at present the overwhelming trend. In the case of the KSSOP, however, it is the research into long-term phenomena and changes which comes to the fore, with a study into the reactions of migratory birds to such global phenomena as climate change, changes in vegetation or the synanthropisation of many species.