The Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme currently focuses primarily on the annual monitoring of the abundance, distribution and breeding success of 19 raptor species native to Scotland. First established on 24 June 2002, the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme is now a partnership of eight organisations, with the following objectives:
Co-operation: to promote better co-operation between the various bodies responsible for gathering information on Scottish raptors, to increase the coverage of raptor surveys in Scotland;
Survey and monitoring: to provide robust information on Scottish raptor populations, in order to report on trends in numbers, range, survival and productivity, to understand the causes of population changes and constraints on raptor populations, and to enhance the volunteer base available to contribute to data collection;
Data and information standards: to maintain and enhance consistent and high standards for the collection, collation, auditing, analysis and curation of data;
Analysis and reporting of information: leading to the production of annual reports on raptors in Scotland, and to support national and international reporting requirements, notably in relation to the EU Birds Directive, the Convention on Migratory Species, and the Memorandum of Understanding on the conservation of migratory birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia.
These objectives arose originally from the recommendations of the Report of the UK Raptor Working Group (2000). This report provides an important framework for developing work on raptors in Scotland and within the UK as a whole. It made recommendations on further improvements in monitoring and reporting on raptors, as well as specific recommendations on raptors and conservation, legislation, moorlands, racing pigeons, the lowlands and songbirds.
SNH, working with others, provided a formal response to the Scottish Executive on the Report of the UK Raptor Working Group. On 16 April 2002 the (then) Scottish Executive responded to SNH's advice on the 25 recommendations in the report. The SRMS was established to address the recommendations relating to Scotland. The Scheme is now building on the work carried out during the initial years, to continue to improve the surveillance, monitoring and understanding of raptors.