Today, the Seabird Monitoring Programme is changing. JNCC has formed a partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). This has changed the way the scheme is coordinated, with BTO leading on supporting the network of skilled volunteer and professional participants, collating data via the SMP Database, and producing statistics. This new partnership provides increased opportunity to grow the network and develop the scheme, drawing on BTO’s expertise in running bird monitoring projects. Organisations involved in the scheme in the past will form an important Advisory Group that will help guide development, and collaboration on long-term demographic monitoring at the four SMP Key Sites will continue.
Since 1986, when the Seabird Monitoring Programme was created by JNCC (then the Nature Conservancy Council) and The Seabird Group, JNCC has coordinated collection, collation and analysis of seabird data from hundreds of skilled participants. These data and statistics have provided insights into the status and trends of our breeding seabirds and, alongside national censuses, have been crucial for informing conservation actions. The SMP Report delivers annual statistics and the SMP Database allows access to tens of thousands of records from coastal and inland colonies.