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Many new routing and MAC layer protocols have been proposed for wireless sensor networks tackling the issues raised by the resource constrained unattended sensor nodes in large-scale deployments. The majority of these protocols considered energy efficiency as the main objective and assumed data traffic with unconstrained delivery requirements. However, the growing interest in applications that demand certain end-to-end performance guarantees and the introduction of imaging and video sensors have posed additional challenges. Transmission of data in such cases requires both energy and QoS aware network management in order to ensure efficient usage of the sensor resources and effective access to the gathered measurements. In this paper, we highlight the architectural and operational challenges of handling of QoS traffic in sensor networks. We report on progress make to-date and outline open research problems.