Raptors (birds of prey) are protected under European legislation (e.g. European Birds & Habitats Directive) and regional legislation (e.g. Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985; Wildlife & Natural Environment (WANE) Act 2010) and as such it is important to survey and monitor their populations (Anonymous, 2000; JNCC, 2005; Williams, 2006; Kovacs et al., 2008; Wernham et al., 2008; Hardey et al., 2009).
The monitoring of raptor populations is thus essential to inform management and/or legislative decisions and also to understand population dynamics (Newton, 1979). This includes understanding the causes of population declines or increases and threats (Hardey et al., 2009) and regional (Newton et al., 1999; Lynas et al., 2007) and European conservation and policy priorities (Duke, 2008).
Furthermore, birds of prey are important indicators of biodiversity (Sergio et al., 2005; 2006) and environmental health (e.g. Koskimies, 1989; Helander et al., 2002; Shore et al., 2002; Helander et al., 2008; Hardey et al., 2009) and can also act as flagship species for education and public awareness programmes.
Key aims of this project are to:
· Collate and standardise historical raptor data
· Produce a report on historical raptor data available
· Provide an online recording form for input of historical and future raptor data
· Provide direct feedback mechanism to those who submit the data to allowing input, review, edit and output of maps and data points
· Produce summary maps of species distributions
· Produce standardised report outputs including tables and maps