The two complimentary objectives of this ERG project are: 1) To further develop and establish an emerging European network for monitoring with and for raptors; 2) to further advance monitoring with and for the lanner falcon Falco biarmicus feldeggi in Sicily, Italy. These build on the activities and outputs of Dr Movalli Duke’s Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) which ended Jan 2007. Expected results are: 1) a European network for monitoring with and for raptors established, contributing to enhanced understanding of raptors as sentinels of environmental health, contamination and environmental change and to strengthened recovery plans for endangered European raptor species; 2) enhanced understanding of environmental pressures on the lanner in Sicily, and of the ability of the lanner to cope with these pressures, contributing to strengthened recovery plans for this endangered species. Objective 1 will be achieved by: a) coordinating publication of a Special Edition of Ambio (contract already signed) on monitoring with and for raptors in Europe; b) building on a network proposal produced and strongly supported by a core group of leading research and conservation organisations, at a workshop convened by the applicant under her IEF. Objective 2 will be achieved by ecological fieldwork, sampling and laboratory analysis of contaminants in lanner and their prey. The project is highly relevant to the work programme in that it will significantly consolidate the applicant's reputation and opportunities for longer-term re-integration through original research and high profile publications and by placing her at the centre of a network of leading groups. The project is highly realistic, building on solid outputs and relationships established during the applicant's IEF, notably between CEH UK and the University of Palermo, with the signatory groups to the Ambio and network initiatives, and with national and regional authorities in Italy.
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