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SmartBirds Information System Helps Collect Data on 1,032 Animal Species in Bulgaria in 2022

Last year, the SmartBirds biological information system saw a total of 214,352 new entries about 1,032 animal species and 311 protected plant species in Bulgaria. Since its launch over eight years ago to help conservation activities in this country, the electronic database has accumulated 1,842,427 entries, shows data published by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB).
In comparison, the new entries exceeded 153,000 in 2020 and 88,800 in 2019.
SmartBirds was developed by the BSPB to serve as an electronic notebook for the storage of records from observations of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Anyone can record their observations on the SmartBirds page or through the free SmartBirds Pro mobile application. The data collected makes it possible to monitor the changes in Bulgarian wildlife populations, thus contributing to their effective conservation.  
In 2022, SmartBirds users made 6,921 entries about 90 species of mammals, 185,776 entries about 386 bird species, 6,934 entries about 64 species of amphibians and reptiles, 3,908 entries about 95 fish species, and 7,802 entries about 397 species of invertebrates. Also logged were 954 entries about 311 protected plant species.
The top three observed birds were the common buzzard (6,866 entries), the great tit (4,067), and the common blackbird (4,054).  The most entries for mammals were logged for the European ground squirrel (1,232), the European hare (403), and the Southern white-breasted hedgehog (334). Among the observed species of amphibians and lizards, the most common last year were the common wall lizard (1,097), the European green lizard (1,071), and the European copper skink (417). For fish observations, the European chub (579), the Orpheus dace (281), and the schneider (232) topped the list. Among invertebrates, SmartBirds users observed most often the beetle species Calathus metallicus (278 entries) and Carabus violaceus azurescens (228), and the clouded yellow butterfly (210).
The most entries for protected plant species last year were made for the orchid commonly known as autumn lady’s-tresses (123), followed by the Rila primrose (31), and the wild orchid Dactylorhiza saccifera (28).
The biological information collected thanks to SmartBirds Pro’s 305 users in 2022 has been used in over ten scientific publications and in the elaboration of over 20 proposals for new protected areas by nature conservation organizations. The information was also used in the development and update of action plans for the conservation of colonial-nesting waterbirds and the Egyptian vulture, among others. Biodiversity conservation strategies and positions on investment intentions were also elaborated using information from SmartBirds.
In 2023, the BSPB expects the total number of entries in the biological information system to reach 2 million.