The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS)

PBMS logo This is a collection of data in which the PBMS has contributed expertise, knowledge, techniques and samples (e.g. to PhD studies that have published data).

The PBMS is a long-term, national monitoring scheme that quantifies the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory and fish-eating birds in Britain. Levels of contaminants are monitored to determine variations between species and regions, changes over time and effects on individual birds and their populations.

The scheme is run by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and funded by Natural Environment Research Council (as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability), Natural England and the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU).

The PBMS relies on members of the public who discover and submit dead birds of prey. All birds of prey (and addled eggs from licenced egg collectors) are given a post-mortem examination and tissues (liver, brain, muscle, kidney, bone, fat) and a selection of feathers are archived. This archive provides a unique capacity to determine long-term trends in other chemicals that may be recognised in the future as posing a significant risk to wildlife.

In addition, the PBMS analyses the livers of Eurasian otters (collected and archived by the Cardiff University Otter Project) and the European polecat (PhD funding from The Vincent Wildlife Trust and the University of Exeter).

Supplemental information