An article authored by Amy Challis and representatives of the SRMG has just been published in Bird Study.
The Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme: recent developments in good practice monitoring shares our experiences and approaches of coordinating a nationwide raptor monitoring programme.
A full copy of the article is available Open Access here. The abstract is reproduced below.
Capsule: The Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (SRMS) has been operational for 15 years and provides many examples of how nationwide monitoring programmes for raptors and other scarce bird species could be developed.
Aims: To share experiences and approaches to the coordination of a nationwide raptor monitoring programme that other countries can use when embarking on their own monitoring programme for raptors or other scarce species.
Methods: We present seven current developments to enhance the SRMS, including: (i) profile raising, (ii) producing robust population trends, (iii) increasing monitoring of widespread species, (iv) expanding the volunteer network, (v) enhancing reporting on causes of breeding failure, (vi) developing an online data entry system and (vii) mobilizing data for conservation purposes.
Results: We present the first results on survey coverage and trends of raptor species in Scotland and highlight some of the challenges, including production of trends, data mobilization and lack of diverse income streams.
Conclusion: We recommend that new raptor monitoring programme should at the outset ensure that the aims of the monitoring programme are clearly defined and that agreement is reached regarding how data will be stored and shared. Consideration should be given to the potential uses of the data and the intended outputs from the programme, and the suitability of scheme design to meet the agreed objectives. A recording system that captures all required aspects of the data recording should be devised and implemented at an early stage.