With the ever increasing popularity of birdwatching in Europe, there has been a growing desire to link together the activity and the expertise of national bird rarities committees in some way.
To fulfill the need, representatives of many European rarities committees gathered in 1993 on the German island of Helgoland, where the decision was made to create AERC.
It was agreed to form an Association of European Rarities Committees which should:
- Encourage the founding of a national rarities committee in every European country
- Provide help for national committees when requested to do so
- Prepare and maintain a European list and
- Organize meetings of delegates of the national committees at approximately two-year intervals to maintain personal contact, information exchange and co-operation
Until 1995 AERC was organised by Christine Barthel, who also prepared the 1995 meeting at Kecskemét (Hungary).
Now the secretariat is run by 2 people : Patric Lorgé from Luxembourg and Marnix Vandegehuchte from Belgium. Their task is to organize the meetings, to keep and update an address list of all RCs, to publish a newsletter at regular intervals to facilitate exchange of information between the AERC and its member committees, to raise funds to help RCs with financial difficulties, to keep a list of identification experts, to compile an annual rarities report for the whole of Europe, to publish an official European bird list etc.
The secretary's office is in Luxembourg : D'Haus von der Natur, L-1899 Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg Tel. +352 29 04 04, Fax +352 29 05 04