The Statutory Conservation Agency/RSPB Annual Breeding Bird Scheme (SCARABBS) provides a programme of regular national surveys of species that are not effectively covered by other national monitoring schemes. SCARABBS is UK wide, involving Statutory Conservation Agencies from across the UK including NatureScot, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
Scotland holds a significant proportion of the UK’s rare breeding raptors. The following raptor species have received surveys as part of the SCARABBS programme:
- Red Kite – 2000
- Marsh Harrier – 1995, 2005
- Hen Harrier – 1993/94, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2016, 2023
- Golden Eagle – 1992, 2003, 2015
- Merlin – 1993/94, 2008
- Peregrine – 1991, 2002, 2014
The surveys happen over a 6-12 year cycle and SRMS data are essential in planning and coordinating these surveys successfully. In Scotland surveys for all raptor species have received funding from NatureScot and JNCC and have being coordinated by the RSPB, with the exception of Peregrine which has been coordinated by the BTO.
Surveys under the programme allow national population estimates to be derived. The SRMS data also complement the periodic SCARABBS surveys by giving us a picture of how the species are faring in the intervening years between the national surveys.