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Approximately 600 volunteers work presently for the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (OTOP). Our conservation projects would not be possible without their passion, dedication and abilities. We collaborate with two types of volunteers:

a. specialist volunteers – who partake in fieldwork projects.

b. supporting volunteers – involved in other OTOP projects, including organization of mass and open-air events, preparation of publications and other OTOP materials, helping regional offices with bird conservation efforts, educational projects, and providing us with photographs or drawings to be used for the promotion of nature conservation.

Volunteers’ work is also one of the key elements in the project “Birds of the Carpathians”. They assist us with the gathering, processing and analyzing of monitoring data from the Polish Carpathians.


OTOP's volunteer in the Carpathians. Photography: Tomasz Wilk

One of the objectives of our project is to create a permanent system of monitoring selected elements of natural environment in the Carpathians. Collection of monitoring data enables us to promptly respond to threats to wildlife and to identify its most endangered elements (information on population trends).

As a result, rational planning and prioritization of conservation activities are possible.

As we realize the importance of monitoring data, the aims of our project are…
…to secure the “long-termness” of capturing monitoring data
…to increase the amount of monitoring data
…to improve the quality of monitoring data
…to strengthen volunteers’ motivation and hone their skills

To fulfil these aims we plan to run two editions of training courses for volunteers, to develop a credit-based motivational packet for volunteers and to hold a competition for the most active OTOP volunteer in the Polish Carpathians.

What can you do to help?

Volunteer projects run by OTOP, both nationally and in the Carpathians, include the Common Breeding Bird Monitoring Scheme (MPPL) and the “IBA Caretakers”. They involve collection of high quality data on changes in the numbers of common bird species as well as gaining information on IBAs; they are directed to volunteers with comprehensive knowledge of environmental matters, experienced in performing monitoring work. We also encourage everyone to submit their bird observations from the Carpathians, the observation form can be found on the Birds of the Carpathians website. Thus obtained data will be used in the spatial analysis of bird distribution in the Carpathians; it can also be used for putting forward a motion about changes in the numbers of selected bird species in time.

We also invite volunteers to help us with office work which involves feeding in and, partially, analyzing data. In this way, inventory data acquired in the project can be processed and analyzed efficiently and without delay. This is also a good opportunity to learn to use such programs as Access or ArcGis.

Feel welcome to work with us!

“Birds of the Carpathians” project team

Translation: Monika Ujma


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Approximately 600 volunteers work presently for the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds.

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