Indicators of the Effects of the Urban Greening on Birds: The Case of Barcelona

  • Sergi HerrandoEmail author
  • Lluís Brotons
  • Marc Anton
  • Martí Franch
  • Javier Quesada
  • Xavier Ferrer


Building and maintaining an urban green infrastructure, which can be understood as a network of urban parks, private gardens or forest areas, can potentially contribute to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss. In this context, developing indicators of the changes produced by green infrastructures on urban biodiversity represents a task of particular interest for planning and governance approaches. The results of long-term bird monitoring schemes in many cities, mainly based on volunteer programmes, may provide a good opportunity to obtain robust data on the spatial patterns and temporal trends of species populations. In addition, recent development of multispecies indicators can now be implemented to make use of common bird monitoring datasets with the aim to generate robust policy relevant evaluation tools. In this chapter we show a procedure to track the effects of urban greening on birds using common bird monitoring data from the city of Barcelona (north-east Iberian Peninsula). Essentially, the proposed approach requires to quantify the species’ response to the green infrastructure at a population level and to integrate all this information in combined indicators of the effect of urban greening. Using this approach we developed a first indicator to track temporal changes on bird populations linked to the greening and a second indicator to determine the areas of the city in which the level of development of the green infrastructure is already having a positive effect on biodiversity.


Indicators Bird monitoring Breeding bird atlas Urban planning Green infrastructure 



The data analysed in this study was obtained by volunteers, without whom bird monitoring in Barcelona would not be possible. Bird monitoring projects in Barcelona receive financial support from the Catalan Government, the Barcelona Local Council and the Barcelona Zoo Foundation and are run by the Catalan Ornithological Institute and the University of Barcelona. Partial funding was received from the EU BON project (308454; FP7-ENV-2012, European Commission).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergi Herrando
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lluís Brotons
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marc Anton
    • 1
  • Martí Franch
    • 1
  • Javier Quesada
    • 4
  • Xavier Ferrer
    • 5
  1. 1.Catalan Ornithological InstituteNatural History Museum of BarcelonaBarcelona, CataloniaSpain
  2. 2.CREAF, Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions ForestalsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaCerdanyola del VallèsSpain
  3. 3.Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CEMFOR-CTFC)Solsona, CataloniaSpain
  4. 4.Laboratory of Chordates, Natural History Museum of BarcelonaBarcelona, CataloniaSpain
  5. 5.Department of Animal BiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelona, CataloniaSpain

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