Category: Blog Posts

Two more Hen Harriers ‘disappear’ on grouse moors

Just as they did in December last year RSPB Scotland has had to post a press-release talking about the ‘disappearance’ of two satellite-tagged Hen Harriers on grouse moors, this time in the Cairngorms National Park. Once again the birds ‘disappeared’ (legalese for ‘almost certainly killed but we just can’t prove it yet’) during lockdown (a period where the public stayed indoors but which gamekeepers seem to have reacted to by going on a wildlife crime spree). Here’s a stat to chew over: 72% of tagged Hen Harriers were confirmed or considered likely to have been illegally killed, and this was ten times more likely to occur over areas of land managed for grouse shooting relative to other land uses.

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RSPB Cymru welcomes new Raptor Officer

The excellent RSPB Investigations Team has recently welcomed a new Raptor Officer to their ranks. Niall Owen has taken up the post of RSPB Cymru Raptor Officer in a new Welsh government-funded role. As well as supporting the police with investigations into crimes involving birds of prey, he will be satellite tagging hen harriers and monitoring their nests over the summer. A keen wildlife photographer with a wealth of knowledge and passion for birds of prey, Niall has already begun undertaking fieldwork.

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Wild Justice granted permission to challenge annual mass ‘gamebird’ release

This one is going to cause ructions in baronial halls and shooting estate managers offices up and down the land – an application by our favourite crime-fighting trio of Dr Mark Avery, Dr Ruth Tingay, and Chris Packham (aka Wild Justice) for a judicial review of the impacts of vast releases of non-native gamebirds on sites of high nature conservation importance has just been granted.

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Egg thief Jeffrey Lendrum denied early release

Following the press-release last week that Peregrine eggs had been taken from three sites in the Peak District during lockdown, some better news for the UK’s nesting birds: Jeffrey Lendrum, perhaps the world’s most notorious egg thief, has lost a bid to be released from a UK prison after serving part of a 37-month sentence for trying to smuggle nineteen eggs and two live chicks (worth up to £8,000 each on the black market) into Britain for export to the Middle East.

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Killing wildfowl banned on Humber Estuary

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the shooting industry is up in arms because the slaughter of wildfowl has been banned on one of the most important wetland sites in the UK – the Humber Estuary, the second largest coastal plain estuary in the UK, a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the Habitats Regulations and considered an internationally important wetland under the Ramsar Convention. Still, how very dare they! Protect wildlife in areas specifically designated to protect wildlife? What is the world coming too…splutters no-one but a ‘wildfowler’

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Guest Post | All Wild Birds are Protected – except when they can be killed in Unlimited Numbers

“But the Secretary of State disagreed – to give yet another example of the government blindly supporting shooting interests. Grouse moor managers never tire of telling us how great wader numbers are on their land. But you don’t have to look far to realise the mass destruction of predators on grouse moors is exactly what leads to huge numbers of grouse to shoot on the 12th August.” Guest post by Bob Berzins

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