Grant Period 2 STSMs (2018-19)

Seven STSMs have been awarded for Grant Period 2 (1/5/18-30/4/19). Details of these missions are provided below.

Working Groups 1 & 2 STSMs

Review of the detection of veterinary pharmaceuticals in avian scavengers in Europe

Mission holder: Marta Herrero Villar, Institute for Game and Wildlife Research (IREC), Ciudad Real, Spain

Host: Mark Taggart, Environmental Research Institute (ERI), University of the Highlands and the Islands, Caithness, UK.

Summary: I will carry out a review of research articles published to date related to the detection and potential effects of veterinary drugs in avian scavengers, including NSAIDs, antibiotics, antiparasitics and barbiturates. This will consider key exposure pathways, not least via the disposal of carrion on land. I will compile existing information regarding product use rates in Europe, typical environmental residues, compound toxicokinetics-toxicodynamics and key toxicity data (where available). I will also consider regulatory issues, risk assessment and avian physiology - as a factor in determining risk in different scavenging species. Lastly, I will create a template for use in recording visceral gout (a key indicator of NSAID related toxicity in certain species) for laboratories to use when undertaking post-mortem examinations.

Review of monitoring data for lead contamination in raptors in Europe 

Mission holder: Laura Monclús Anglada, Department of Animal Health and Anatomy, Veterinary Faculty, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.

Host: Oliver Krone, Leibniz Institute for Zoo & Wildlife Research, Germany.

Summary: I am working on the existing lead monitoring data in raptors, preparing the basis for a peer-reviewed paper. Before starting the literature search, the relevant questions to be answered were defined. I then used three search platforms to look for all relevant papers worldwide, and reviewed these papers to obtain an overview of the topics covered. I constructed a dataset from these papers, extracting key information (country, year, species, sample matrix, concentrations) and transferring this into an excel matrix and an associated file with the entire information summarised and downloaded. Finally, I have drafted key points and structure for the review paper. 

Review of presence, concentrations and bio-analytical methods for emerging and legacy organic contaminants in raptors 

Mission holder: Soledad González Rubio, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Fine Chemistry and Nanochemistry, University of Córdoba, Spain

Host: Veerle Jaspers, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

Summary: The general objective is to perform a literature review concerning the presence, concentrations, and (bio)-analytical methods currently available for emerging and legacy organic contaminants in raptors. In parallel we aim to do some research on the development of analytical methods for emerging contaminants in birds of prey. We aim to publish the outcomes in two scientific articles, which will be finished when I return to my Home Institution, working in close collaboration with the Host group: 1) literature review and meta-analysis of current monitoring activities on a pan-European scale; and 2) analytical optimization of methods for emerging contaminants (i.e. bisphenols and benzophenones) in birds of prey.

Working Group 3 STSMs

Review of raptor collections in Europe

Mission holder: Gloria Ramello, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Carmagnola, Italy

Host: Rene’ Dekker & Paola Movalli, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Summary: The purpose of this STSM was to assess the extent of existing raptor collection in Europe including the content of these collections, ongoing collection activity, available facilities for collection/ storage, current provision for research access to collections and samples exchange, and current constraints to ongoing collection, storage, research access and sample exchange, as well as any existing related contaminant data. This involved design and issue of a questionnaire to natural history museums, environmental specimen banks and other collections across Europe. 113 responses were received and analysed. This STSM provided input for the WG3 meeting in Brussels on 10-11 December 2018.

Working Group 4 STSMs

Review of raptor ringing effort across Europe

Mission holder: Abigail Maiden, Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group, Belfast, UK

Host: Dr Jari Valkama, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki, Finland

Summary: In order to review raptor ringing across Europe, I am conducting a questionnaire based study, which will be sent to all ringing schemes that are members of EURING (The European Union for Bird Ringing). The questionnaire covers the logistics and protocols of raptor ringing alongside collecting more information about raptor material collection and telemetry data. Additionally, the questionnaire collates raptor ringing data between 2012-2018 which, I will analyse for individual schemes, species and also the EURING network as a whole. In order to gain an in-depth insight into raptor ringing as well as find areas that could be improved.

Review of constraints for the collection and sharing of raptor samples and contextual data in Europe

Mission Holder: Maria Dulsat Masvidal, IDAEA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain

Host: Dr Rui Lourenco, University of Evora, Portugal

Summary: Monitoring contaminants Europe-wide is a great challenge that requires several constraints to be solved. The aim of this STSM is to identify and search for solutions to the main limitations to obtaining and sharing raptor samples, and related contextual data about the individual and/or population from which samples are obtained. To achieve our proposal, we are collecting information from different actors involved in the European Raptor Biomonitoring Facility. Constraints differ between countries, especially those related to differences in national legislation, country geography and abundance and distribution of focal raptor species. The data collected in this STSM will contribute to more effective and comprehensive pan-European biomonitoring schemes using raptors.

Review of protocols to inform best practice guidance for sample and contextual data collection for Peregrine and other falcons

Mission holder: Lucie Michel, University of Giessen, Germany

Host: Dr Giacomo dell'Omo, Ornis Italica, Rome, Italy

Summary: The focus of my STSM is to collect information about Peregrines and other falcons in European cities. I aim to give a literature overview on Peregrine Falcon studies, sum up existing protocols and contribute to the development of best practice guidance for sample and contextual data collection. Consolidating the mission, I aim to collect information regarding urban breeding sites, population development and people that can contribute to the knowledge. Therefore I am developing a database of urban peregrines websites with webcams and contacts of groups. By means of a questionnaire survey, I want to enquire their willingness and ability to participate, share data and best practice, as well as contribute to sampling.