On Saturday 31st August 43 persons from across the raptor spectrum in Wales gathered at Newtown, Powys to discuss the formation of a Welsh Raptor Monitoring Scheme. Assembled were members from the Welsh raptor groups, Barn owl groups, Peregrine groups, Osprey groups, and the Welsh Kite Trust, together with various non-governmental organisations, the BTO and RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts.
BTO Scotland’s Dr. Chris Wernham gave a very informative presentation on how the scheme works in Scotland, and how we could build on the consensus of those present, and progress with our own scheme. The establishment of such a scheme will allow the individual projects, and the various groups to maintain their identities under a common banner, whilst allowing the collation of data gathered to be used for conservation purposes, and the speedy production of an annual report.
The proposed 2014 National peregrine Survey was discussed and it became obvious that since the last survey in 2003 that there have been some significant and very interesting changes in the distribution of Welsh Peregrines.
Following a rather unpopular name change which we will not mention, the Wales Raptor Study Group has reverted to it’s original title. With all the new developments the existing Chair decided that it was time for a new broom and Ian Spence the former coordinator of the North East Wales Raptor Study Group has agreed to take on the role.
The next meeting will be held at the beginning of 2014, and again is open to all raptor workers in Wales. Dr Dave Leach of the BTO's nest recording unit has agreed to come and speak. If you would like to become involved and are not on the current mailing list please contact Kelvin Jones at BTO Cymru who is the acting secretary.