A review of raptor and owl monitoring activity across Europe: its implications for capacity building towards pan-European monitoring

Author(s): Derlink, M., Wernham, C., Bertoncelj, I., Kovacs, A., Saurola, P., Duke, G., Movalli, P. & Vrezec, A.

Published: April 2018  

Journal: Bird Study

Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1080/00063657.2018.1447546

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Capsule: A questionnaire identified 1196 raptor monitoring species schemes within 236 monitoring programmes across 37 countries.

Aims: To assess the level of monitoring of status/trends of raptors across Europe, to produce a web-based inventory of activities.

Methods: A questionnaire promoted by voluntary national coordinators assessed monitoring coverage, focusing on breeding populations.

Results: One thousand one hundred and ninety-six species schemes (236 monitoring programmes; 90% active in 2012) were reported from 37 countries. Sixty per cent of schemes were of over 10 years duration and nine countries ran schemes of over 40 years duration. Nineteen species had at least one scheme in 10 or more countries, and 15 species had schemes that ran for over 10 years. Thirteen species had breeding monitoring schemes in over 50% of countries where they breed, including widespread species (e.g. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus) and localized species (e.g. Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus). Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus, Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes and Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus had the least representative coverage, and four rare species had no coverage. Coverage was more representative in north and west Europe than further south and east. Coverage was more representative for widespread species and those with more favourable conservation status.

Conclusions: Large potential exists to enhance reporting on status/trends, ecotoxicology analyses and volunteer-based monitoring at the pan-European scale. National coordinators provide an ideal network to develop and disseminate best practice guidance across Europe.

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