About the PBMS

The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS) is a long-term, national monitoring scheme that quantifies the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory birds in Britain.

We monitor the levels of contaminants to determine how and why they vary between species and regions, how they are changing over time, and the effects that they may have on individual birds and on their populations.

The aim of the PBMS is to detect and quantify current and emerging chemical threats to the environment. It achieves this by monitoring the concentrations of contaminants of concern in bird carcasses and eggs. This provides information on the extent of risk to vertebrate wildlife (and potentially Man) and how this varies temporally and spatially. Such variation can result from market-led or regulatory changes in chemical use. It may also be associated with larger-scale phenomena, such as global environmental change, which can alter the environmental fate and behaviour of chemicals. 

PBMS monitoring provides evidence of the effectiveness of mitigation measures, such as those incorporated into national and international regulatory directives. We have summarised the key facts about the PBMS into a single page handout:  PDF icon Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme in a Page.pdf

A poster to print and display to advertise the scheme is available: PDF icon The PBMS.pdf

Pair of gannets      Image of a red kite perching on a branch     

Project objectives:

  • Chemical surveillance and monitoring
  • Monitor trends in exposure to priority compounds, some subject to regulatory control
  • Identify hazards, assess risk, understand environmental drivers, assess success of mitigation
  • Assess specific risks to high priority species
  • Relate to population trends and evaluate whether chemicals are a likely cause of population change
  • Determining the effects of contaminants on predatory birds
  • Develop and maintain a tissue and egg archive for monitoring and research

We are grateful to the RSPBimages.com and Alan Lawlor of CEH for kindly allowing us to reproduce their images in the production of this website. Other images used in the website were purchased and are © www.fotosearch.co.uk.

How can you help?

If you find a dead bird of prey telephone us (01524 595830) or Contact us and see the How to send us a dead bird page.