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The Commission launched the SPRING project (Strengthening pollinator recovery through indicators and monitoring) with an aim to strengthen taxonomic capacity with regard to pollinating insects, support preparation for the implementation of an EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme and pilot the scheme in all 27 EU countries. The budget of the project is EUR 5 million. The project will provide a critical contribution to the establishment of a scientifically robust and sustainable EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme that will provide a series of indicators, capable of detecting any significant changes in the abundance of pollinators across the whole of the EU.


Objectives



Expand the European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (eBMS) by creating new schemes in 6 EU countries: Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Romania. This will achieve complete coverage of eBMS partnerships in all EU Member States. It will also provide ongoing support to the 10 national schemes that were set up under the ABLE project. Butterfly monitoring uses standardised transects and is mostly carried out by trained volunteers as a form of citizen science.

Build up the capacity of citizen science networks on pollinators across Europe. Some EU countries have a strong baseline of citizen science whereas other countries, particularly in southern and eastern Europe currently have very little citizen science capability. The project will recruit and train more coordinators and volunteers across Europe who are willing to collect data on butterflies, moths, wild bees and hoverflies from the field and report it to the newly developed online database.

Organise advanced taxonomic training to the next generation of taxonomists in Europe, with a focus on wild bees and hoverflies. The aim is to achieve a minimum expert capacity in each EU Member State that can deliver the EU Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (EU PoMS). The experts will be capable of identifying most specimens to species level, with support from the established advanced taxonomy institutes for the remainder of the specimens.

Pilot a Minimum Viable Scheme (MVS) for wild bees, butterflies and hoverflies by monitoring at a small number of sites in every EU Member State, using standardised transects walked by professionals and volunteers. Wild bees and hoverflies will also be monitored by professionals using pan traps.

Monitor rare and threatened species by professionals using a variety of species-specific methods.

Monitor moths by volunteers using light traps.

Besides the core scheme of the EU Pollinator monitoring Scheme, the project will also include additional modules: pollination services measured directly by professionals, flower visitation monitored by volunteers using timed counts and wider insect biodiversity measured by professionals using malaise traps.



Implementation

To ensure representative coverage across all biogeographical zones, the implementation of the project has been regionalised as follows:

Region 1. Scandinavia/Baltic: Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Estonia

Region 2. Eastern 1: Hungary, Romania

Region 3. Eastern 2: Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus

Region 4. Atlantic/Mediterranean: Spain, France, Portugal

Region 5. North/Central: Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg.

Region 6. Central: Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Slovakia

Region 7. South/Central: Italy, Croatia, Malta, Slovenia


For more information please visit the SPRING project webpage




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