The scientific journal AMBIO published a special issue on
“Monitoring for and with Raptors of Europe”
One of the main reasons given by the editors for publishing
this issue are recent policy developments. These include
the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the European Union’s
new chemicals legislation (REACH) and plans for a Memorandum
of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds
of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, under CMS. Following the
first meeting, co-hosted by CMS in Loch Lomond, Scotland
in October 2007, a second meeting on the conservation of
birds of prey will be held in Abu Dhabi 20 to 22 October.
Participants will meet in order to discuss the proposed
MoU and action plan.
The growing interest in the conservation
and monitoring of raptors has several reasons:. Raptors
are important indicators of healthy ecosystems. They are
at the end of the food chain, which makes them highly vulnerable
to changes occurring in respect to environmental changes
and increased competition for food. If raptors disappear
from their habitat, this is a clear sign of a disrupted
One way to assess progress towards the achievement of the
2010 targets is close and coordinated monitoring. The information
and knowledge gained will be vital to adapt current policies
in order to make them more effective. AMBIO’s special
issue calls for an international and European effort to
monitor and protect raptors. The journal is meant to take
stock of the current state-of-the-art of raptor monitoring
in Europe in order to coordinate and expand monitoring of
migratory raptors. AMBIO also calls for better coordination
and cooperation of two raptor monitoring “camps”.
Monitoring for raptors focuses on the conservation of raptor
species themselves, while monitoring with raptors generally
aims at using the information gained to measure indicators
of environmental change or hazards through contamination.
A coordinated attempt at exerting influence on policy makers
could prove very effective.
Among the published papers are studies on Raptor Ecotoxicology
in Spain and on PCBs in the Eggs of Eurasian Kestrels. AMBIO”s
special issue of is not only highly interesting, it is also
a great contribution to the information status on raptor
monitoring in Europe.