Toward scoping reviews of individual bird species

Christopher J.W. McClure*, Zackery Szymczycha, Sarah Schulwitz, David L. Anderson, Leah Dunn, Michael T. Henderson, Leticia Camacho, José de Jesús Vargas González, Chris N. Parish, Evan R. Buechley, Jesse D’Elia, Sanford Wilbur, Kenneth Johansen, Devin Johnson, Søren Møller, Ivan Pokrovsky, Francisca Helena Aguiar-Silva1, Todd Katzner1

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Raptors are charismatic, provide ecosystem services, and have life histories that make them more susceptible to imperilment than other birds. Importantly, most raptors have slow reproductive cycles and long lifespans, such that moderate increases in adult mortality can cause precipitous population declines. In a rapidly changing world, raptor biologists and conservationists need ready access to scientific literature in an efficient, succinct, and interpretable format. Many raptors remain understudied, resulting in large knowledge gaps for a majority of species. We present a protocol for systematic map development to aid raptor biologists in collecting, synthesizing, and centralizing existing raptor literature. As a proof of concept, we apply this protocol to three species of raptors that occupy different taxonomic, geographic, and ecological space: the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus), Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), and Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus).

    The protocol describes steps for searching, compiling, and synthesizing literature for each focal raptor species. We will perform a literature search pertaining to each species in peer-reviewed and grey literature using publication databases, online search engines, organizational websites, and specialist libraries. We will use a Boolean search strategy for each species whereby our search strings consist of a species’ scientific and common names known regionally and historically to encompass a broad scope of literature. Searches will be conducted in English, and when possible, additional languages spoken within a species’ historical range. We will screen title, abstracts, and full-texts of studies for inclusion and code data based on study topic and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) threat and conservation action classification schemes. Outputs will be tables of coded literature, timelines of past data collection, geographical maps of study areas, and descriptions of critical research gaps. We will incorporate these collated data into a centralized searchable database of critical raptor research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Jan 2022


    • bird of prey
    • conservation actions
    • conservation biology
    • Evidence synthesis
    • literature review
    • raptor
    • wildlife conservation
    • wildlife management

    Cite this