A review of constraints and solutions for collecting raptor samples and contextual data for a European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility

Maria Dulsat-Masvidal, Rui Lourenço, Silvia Lacorte, Marcello D'Amico, Tamer Albayrak, Jovan Andevski, Arianna Aradis, Emanuel Baltag, Oded Berger-Tal, Philippe Berny, Yael Choresh, Guy Duke, Silvia Espín, Antonio J García-Fernández, Pilar Gómez-Ramírez, Gunnar T Hallgrimsson, Veerle Jaspers, Ulf Johansson, Andras Kovacs, Oliver KroneMadis Leivits, Emma Martínez-López, Rafael Mateo, Paola Movalli, Pablo Sánchez-Virosta, Richard F Shore, Jari Valkama, Al Vrezec, Stavros Xirouchakis, Lee A Walker, Chris Wernham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COST Action 'European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility' (ERBFacility) aims to develop pan-European raptor biomonitoring in support of better chemicals management in Europe, using raptors as sentinel species. This presents a significant challenge involving a range of constraints that must be identified and addressed. The aims of this study were to: (1) carry out a comprehensive review of the constraints that may limit the gathering in the field of raptor samples and contextual data, and assess their relative importance across Europe; and (2) identify and discuss possible solutions to the key constraints that were identified. We applied a participatory approach to identify constraints and to discuss feasible solutions. Thirty-one constraints were identified, which were divided into four categories: legal, methodological, spatial coverage, and skills constraints. To assess the importance of the constraints and their possible solutions, we collected information through scientific workshops and by distributing a questionnaire to stakeholders in all the countries involved in ERBFacility. We obtained 74 answers to the questionnaire, from 24 of the 39 COST participating countries. The most important constraints identified were related to the collection of complex contextual data about sources of contamination, and the low number of existing raptor population national/regional monitoring schemes and ecological studies that could provide raptor samples. Legal constraints, such as permits to allow the collection of invasive samples, and skills constraints, such as the lack of expertise to practice necropsies, were also highlighted. Here, we present solutions for all the constraints identified, thus suggesting the feasibility of establishing a long-term European Raptor Sampling Programme as a key element of the planned European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148599
Pages (from-to)148599
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


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