Research and monitoring for and with raptors in Europe
May 2010 - May 2015

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Programme results

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The wider aim of EURAPMON (May 2010 – May 2015) was to strengthen the contribution of research and monitoring for and with raptors in Europe to deliver biodiversity, environmental and human health benefits, including maintenance and recovery of raptor populations and their habitats, and reduced chemical threats to ecosystems and human health.

The Final Report of EURAPMON Programme to ESF (May 2015) is available HERE.

 

The results of EURAPMON are listed below according to main programme scientific objectives:

1. Establishment of a sustainable and resource-efficient pan-European network for monitoring for and with raptors, linked to existing international networks;

EURAPMON has achieved a vibrant network of active participants through activities such as ten science meetings and engagement of National Coordinators. It now involves over 300 participants from 50 countries

Contacts of the National Coordinators are available here. Lists of participants at each of the EURAPMON workshops and the final conference can be found in the published final reports of the meetings here.

Strong links have been maintained with existing networks (e.g. BirdLife International; MEROS; WILDCOMS, Raptor Research Foundation, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Wildlife Toxicology Group, UN Convention on Migratory Species – CMS for raptors).

 

2. Establishment of consensus on Europe-wide priorities for monitoring for and with raptors, based on comprehensive inventory of existing monitoring, and of needs of key users;

EURAPMON has successfully established comprehensive inventories of existing monitoring activities for both for and with raptors (based on questionnaire surveys with over 300 responses from 35 countries). The collated information from the inventories and the two resulting peer-reviewed publications (Gómez-Ramírez et al., 2014, Derlink et al. to be submitted in 2015) can be used very effectively to assess the practicalities of recommending or reporting on pan-European monitoring of particular species.

An inventory of existing monitoring of contaminants in raptors (results of the questionnaire as of 9 November, 2012) can be downloaded as an Excel sheet, including an overview of monitoring schemes, their purpose, types of samples collected and a list of monitored contaminants.

An online tool with information on raptor population monitoring activities in Europe (as of July 2013) collected through 300 questionnaire responses is available HERE and enables search according to species, country, year of monitoring or keywords.

Two workshops (SM5, SM7 – workshop 4) of the for raptors community were held to consider the range of potential criteria for setting priority raptor species for monitoring, relating to their conservation status, relative abundance, drivers of change, sensitivity to contaminants and other threats to populations. A workshop (SM7 – workshop 1) of the with raptors community investigated the potential for developing and initiating pan-European monitoring of trends in priority environmental contaminants.

 

3. Spreading best practices and build capacities in Europe for harmonized monitoring for and with raptors;

Three workshops (SM4, SM6, SM7) were held to address the development of best practice guidance across Europe. A sampling protocol for contaminant monitoring was agreed, designed to be used by those monitoring for raptors (Espin et al, 2014). The 4-page summary of the guidelines was translated into several European languages to make it as widely accessible as possible (pdfs available here). A refereed journal manuscript, (Espin et al., 2015), discussing the suitability of different raptor tissue types for monitoring selected contaminants for the first time, will be submitted for publication in the summer of 2015.

A best practice raptor necropsy video was created (to be made publicly accessible via the website). A for raptor monitoring workshop (SM5) considered the main user needs that should be addressed with respect to best practice guidelines. The UK Raptor Survey and Monitoring Guide Raptors - A Field Guide to Surveys and Monitoring (Second Edition 2009; available on the EURAPMON website) - was the preferred starting point to develop guidance on standardised monitoring across Europe. A further workshop (SM7) brought together selected monitoring coordinators around Europe to share experiences and to consider common monitoring protocols for assessment of reliable trends suitable for conservation management, environmental evaluations and research at European scale. The conclusions will be made freely available in a special issue of Ambio or Bird Study journal. A further nine short visits and a summer school supported the sharing of skills/best practice in specific research fields and capacity building (see Appendix 4).

 

 4. Establishment of a web based database;

Early on in the EURAPMON programme we reached a common understanding that the collection of raw raptor monitoring data and new pan-European analyses of these data would not be feasible because of the sensitivities surrounding the sharing of raptor data between individuals and organisations. Instead we agreed to focus effort on developing meta-databases that would provide important knowledge on the current state of population monitoring across Europe and allow interested stakeholders to search the databases for useful information.

An online database of contact details of students and researchers working with raptors in Europe (90 participants) is available online and accessible to any registered user to further promote networking and identifying sources of expertise and common research interests. A searchable MS Excel database of analysed responses to 35 questionnaires on raptor contaminant monitoring and an online tool with information on for raptor population monitoring collected through 300 questionnaire responses are available online on the EURAPMON website.