EU Derogations | Killing birds legally

BirdLife International (the global partnership of non-governmental organizations that strives to conserve birds and their habitats) will soon be launching a virtual event that will showcase how more than 14,000,000 birds have been legally killed across EU Member States between 2009-17. ‘Legally’ because of the use of derogations to the Birds Directive. Despite the original intentions of the Directive, hunting lobbies have ensured that what should be Europe’s strongest laws on birds are riddled with exemptions – or with what are known across the EU as ‘derogations’…

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Trophy Hunting, Facebook, and Astroturfing

Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH) is reporting a fascinating development in the ongoing battle to reveal the extent that trophy hunters (= wealthy shooters who travel the world to kill wildlife) have gone to present what they do as ‘conservation’ and representing the ‘true voice’ of Africa: astroturfing on social media, especially Facebook. It’s a complex story involving many actors, but the campaign appears to have been organised by the Illinois-based Inclusive Conservation Group which quietly funded pro-hunting lobby accounts on social media, including Let Africa Live and Proud American Hunter. The latter was targeted deliberately at (according to ICG themselves) “a rabid following of 25 – 54 year old United States males who are passionate about hunting, guns, and patriotism”…

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Wildlife Slaughter | Lebanon/UK – any difference?

A team working for the Berlin-based Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) have just uploaded a series of images from Lebanon. They show the massacre of migrating birds. Slaughter on a scale that few of us get to see firsthand. The reaction on social media is a mix of bewilderment, rage, frustration, shock…How can this be happening? How can men (it’s almost always young men) line up to blow these beautiful, evocative birds out of the sky like this? How can they show such indifference to the suffering and death? Why aren’t the authorities doing anything to stop it? Meanwhile, here in the UK…

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Another Yorkshire Peregrine poisoned

Yet another Peregrine has been found poisoned in Yorkshire – though for a change not in the raptor persecution of North Yorkshire. This bird was found – alive initially – near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. Forensic analysis determined that it had been poisoned with Bendiocarb, an acutely toxic insecticide developed by Bayer. Bendiocarb is highly toxic to humans if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Pure bendiocarb is highly toxic to birds, highly toxic to honey bees, extremely toxic to earthworms, and moderately to highly toxic to several species of fish and aquatic invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs. You have to seriously hate wildlife to leave this stuff lying around…

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Sounds familiar – Malta | Poachers using ‘science’ as excuse to kill

How often have we heard ‘science’ used as an excuse for killing wildlife over the years? Now the ridiculous law-breaking poachers of Malta (a tiny territory with a terrible reputation for its attitude towards birds and European law thanks to its ‘hunters’) are trapping protected songbirds on the pretext of a “study” on their migration habits. Yes, science will be advanced immeasurably by old men randomly confining wild birds to cages (including old men who threaten to hurl rocks at people walking on public footpaths which we learned about through field observations by the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

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Guest Post | Kevin Hand: Barbastelles, Jones Hill Woods, and HS2

“By chance I found myself recently at a Stop HS2 camp at Denham Country Park, in the beautiful Colne Valley, on the fringes of London not far from Heathrow. I had planned a day out to catch up with a friend and he suggested we visit. We were warmly welcomed and it was quickly apparent that as a trained and experienced ecologist here was something practical I could do to help our wildlife, and to help some very inspiring young people. I set up a training session on monitoring protected species, and we were all delighted when we found clear evidence of water voles grazing on the edges of the chalk streams…but tinged with regret that these same streams were to be deeply affected by developments associated with the vast HS2 project.” Guest post by Kevin Hand

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