The CEH-run Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme has recently been instrumental in developing a new collaborative network that involves the various different UK surveillance schemes that monitor disease and contaminants in vertebrate wildlife.
The network, called WILDCOMS (Wildlife Disease & Contaminant Monitoring and Surveillance), has secured initial funding through a Knowledge Exchange grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Its aims are to:
- provide a focal point for disease and contaminant monitoring in wild vertebrates
- provide an integrated overview of the health status of UK wild vertebrates
- facilitate collaboration between WILDCOMS network partners
- facilitate identification of disease and contaminants of emerging concern
It is anticipated that WILDCOMS will benefit a wide range of stakeholders. It will bring together disparate strands of information and thereby provide a more holistic view of the health status of UK wildlife.
WILDCOMS recently held its launch meeting and established a presence on the internet where information on the network partners is available. This website [anchor link] will be developed and expanded in the coming months and will include quarterly newsletters.
The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme, based at CEH's Lancaster site, 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. It is funded by CEH, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use.