Proposals for potential modifications to the bird of prey monitoring scheme

Shore, Richard F.; Wienburg, Claire L.; Dobson, Stuart; Osborn, Daniel. 2001 Proposals for potential modifications to the bird of prey monitoring scheme. Peterborough, JNCC, 32pp. (JNCC Report 320)

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It was instrumental in securing the phased withdrawals of the permitted uses of organochlorine insecticides and has since provided a measure of the effectiveness of regulatory bans in reducing the exposure of wildlife. The PBMS has expanded over the years and currently monitors carcasses and/or eggs of particular species for organochlorine (OC) pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and second-generation rodenticides (carcasses only). Since 1974, the PBMS has been the subject of a series of contracts (known as the Wildlife and Pollution contracts) from the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) and subsequently from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). Some of current activities reported under the Wildlife and Pollution contracts address issues that have declined in importance in terms of conservation and regulation. This report describes a suite of new activities that could be incorporated into the PBMS to address crucial gaps in the understanding of contemporary wildlife and pollution issues and to maximise the usefulness of the PBMS to regulators and policy-makers. These activities include: widening the numbers and types of compounds monitored; improving the link between environmental residue data and toxicity for compounds already monitored; identifying unknown compounds in birds; and using data from the scheme to identify contamination hotspots on a national scale. The OSPAR list of chemicals for priority action has been used as a guide to which additional compounds it may be most important to monitor. Activities that can be introduced into the PBMS immediately have been highlighted. Some of the activities considered require additional specific resources. However, others are longer-term monitoring activities for which additional resources may be limited. It is proposed that the PBMS could alter the frequency of monitoring for any one compound or suite of compounds from a yearly to a multi-year basis. Different suites of compounds could be analysed on a 2-3 year rolling cycle for example. The resources released would allow an expansion of the breadth of the PBMS. A fuller analysis of the impacts of any change in reporting frequency should first be undertaken before it is implemented. It is recommended that a statistical review of the long-term datasets available for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, mercury and rodenticides is undertaken. The aim of this review would be to determine whether the long-term temporal changes in residues detected by analysing birds on a year by year basis would have been identified (and with what degree of precision) if sampling had been on a two, three, four or more year basis. The review should be coupled with an outline of how new analyses/species will be incorporated into the PBMS in the intervening years should a multi-year cycle prove feasible. This outline would be based on feedback from conservation and regulatory agencies about their requirements and would take account of the practicalities of applying existing monitoring methodologies already employed by such agencies.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
Funders/Sponsors: Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Additional Keywords: Predatory Birds, Monitoring
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 Mar 2009 16:00 +0 (UTC)

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