The Austrian Ornithological Centre (AOC) is a scientific institution dedicated to basic and applied research on birds. Its aim is to further deepen knowledge about the behaviour, physiology and ecology of birds. The AOC supports the activities of other institutions, scientists and interested persons in order to improve the living conditions of all bird species in Austria and other countries, and to ensure their continued existence.
Climate change and excessive land grabbing lead to serious and rapid changes in our landscape. Researching their effects on our bird world and the developments to be expected are an important task of the AOC.
A broad-based monitoring of selected bird species with the help of individual markings is the basic method of scientific research. Long-term, standardized ringing programmes generate data that allow statements to be made about population-ecological developments in native bird species and thus provide the basis for fact-based nature conservation.
The research orientation and specific expertise of the employees allows the investigation of physiological adaptations to new challenges due to changing living conditions. As part of this research focus, the ornithologists examine a broad spectrum of model habitats, from extremely dry desert habitats in the Sahara to tropical rainforest areas in Central and South America.
Another focus is the scientifically based development and implementation of measures for the rescue and, among other things, the reintroduction of threatened bird species. Diversity research in native habitats and the determination of bird-specific habitat requirements, e.g. in gardens and agricultural areas, complement the efforts of bird protection.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the living conditions of bird species, in addition to the effects on reproductive behaviour and success in the breeding area, the conditions along migratory routes are also examined. Changes in habitat pose extreme challenges, especially during migration.
The AOC acts within an international framework, both scientifically and in matters of bird protection. The AOC provides scientifically sound advice on issues related to bird protection both regionally and nationally.