Centre for Conservation Science
We do this by identifying the most important problems, discovering their possible causes, testing potential solutions to those causes and ensuring that they work when implemented. We work both throughout the UK and overseas alongside a wide range of funders and partners.
What we do
We identify species of greatest conservation concern from surveys and monitoring. Subsequent research often aims to identify causes of population declines and test potential solutions.
Our research in upland systems focuses on understanding the changes in bird populations and their habitats.
To address continuing agricultural change and the pressures it places on wildlife, we operate a large and varied research and monitoring programme across all types of UK farmland.
Meet the team
Using science to find practical solutions to the most pressing conservation problems
Working with us
Conservation Science Awards
The RSPBs three annual awards to recognise and celebrate excellence in conservation science.
The State of the UK's Birds
Latest blog posts
Can predation limit bird populations in the UK?
RSPB Scotland's Senior Conservation Scientist Staffan Roos describes the findings of a new study that he and his RSPB colleagues Jennifer Smart, David Gibbons and Jeremy Wilson recently published in the journal Biological Reviews. People often ask me...Posted 24/05/2018 by Andre Farrar
RSPB Science monitoring at Hope Farm - May 2018
Blog post by Derek Gruar, Senior Research Assistant, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science and Laurinda Lauffman, Trusts and Foundations Manager, RSPB. We are well underway with the 19th season of breeding bird surveys and summer butterfly monitoring ...Posted 18/05/2018 by Kevin Middleton
How many mice does it take to kill an albatross?
Blog by Kate Lawrence. On the evening of 20 February 2018, I watched an Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross chick die before my eyes, as it was eaten alive by mice. A 79-day old Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross chick at nest 014 just after its death by mo...Posted 15/05/2018 by Laura B
Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17
Blog post by Simon Wotton, Senior Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science. The latest Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) report, for 2016/17, has just been published. WeBS is the principal scheme for monitoring the populations of the UK'...Posted 11/05/2018 by Kevin Middleton
The State of Nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories. PDF, 8.3MbState of Nature 2016
The SUKB report, is a one-stop shop for all the latest results from annual, periodic and one-off surveys and monitoring programmes. PDF, 2.5MbState of the UK's birds 2016
The annual report of the Wetland Bird Survey. PDF, 5MbWaterbirds in the UK 2014-2015
This case study focuses on the evidence available in support of the RSPB's position on renewables. PDF, 542KbCase study no 15: Renewable energy and conservation science
Part of a collection that aims to highlight RSPB science from the last decade. PDF, 389KbCase study no 16: Climate change research
Understanding woodland bird declines. PDF, 392KbCase Study No. 17: Can not see the wood for the trees!
The UK's leading bird conservation organisations have worked together to review the status of birds in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. PDF, 1.7MbBird of conservation concern 4
How are we doing?
We've been making changes and we'd love to know what you think.