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
Latest posts - saving species
Tracking the elusive Leach’s storm petrel on St Kilda
Today’s blog is by Conservation Scientist, Connie Tremlett, on her recent field work on the remote island of St Kilda tracking a tiny seabird The Leach’s storm petrel is one of our smallest seabirds, around the size of a starling. They are beautiful ...Posted 16/09/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
The role of Nature-based Solutions for climate change mitigation in the UK
Today's blog is by Conservation Scientist Tom Bradfer-Lawrence and Senior Conservation Scientist Rob Field. Tom led this work whilst working in the RSPB’s Centre for Conservation Science, but is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Stir...Posted 06/09/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
The extent and effectiveness of protected areas in the UK
In the run up to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UK Government has pledged to protect 30% of land by 2030. However, in a new study published today, RSPB scientists argue that as little as 5% may currently be effectively protected for natu...Posted 02/09/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
Death by a thousand cuts – the challenge of conserving migratory species
A new study shows that a threatened migratory vulture faces a variety of threats along its 5000 km journey from Europe to Africa, with birds getting shot, poisoned and electrocuted in 13 countries across 3 continents. Large-scale collaboration is nec...Posted 30/08/2021 by Vanessa Amaral-Rogers
Conservation Science Awards
The RSPBs three annual awards to recognise and celebrate excellence in conservation science.
The State of the UK's Birds
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