Tag: peregrine

South Yorkshire | Poisoned Peregrine Update

Last month (Oct 26th) we reported on a Peregrine poisoning in South Yorkshire. Initially found alive the bird was taken into care but later died. Forensic analysis determined that it had been poisoned with Bendiocarb, an acutely toxic insecticide. South Yorkshire Police’s (SYP) Fran Robbs de la Hoyde said at the time that, “This was a deliberate act that caused the death of a beautiful and protected bird. I am saddened by this and I am asking for your help to bring those responsible to justice.” Yesterday (Nov 17th) SYP raided a property under warrant, and seized what they have described as ‘a number of suspicious items’. They stressed just how important community cooperation has been in the case…

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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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North Yorkshire | Peregrine falcons found poisoned in quarry

What on earth is it with North Yorkshire and birds of prey. As a frustrated Guy Shorrock puts it in this report from the Yorkshire Post (and kudos to the Post, which once described North Yorkshire as a “black hole for raptors“, for writing about the targeting of raptors in their home patch), “North Yorkshire sadly has a diabolical reputation for the illegal shooting, trapping and poisoning of birds of prey. I have been picking up the bodies of raptors for nearly 30 years, and in the current ecological emergency, this cannot continue. Our wildlife needs better protection.” Yes, yes it does. Better protection, better enforcement, and an end to the grouse shooting industry that has been eradicatiing raptors in North Yorkshire for decades…

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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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Peregrine falcon eggs taken from three sites in Peak District

As was widely reported wildlife crime has rocketed during the country’s lockdown and many ongoing investigations are focussed on land managed for grouse shooting. Much of the crime spree has been credited to gamekeepers taking advantage while the public remained indoors. But it appears that egg thieves have been out and about too (though of course – and this is purely idle speculation, m’lud – the two groups could be one and the same: some gamekeepers have been getting rid of Peregrines for decades so why not flog the eggs to falconers rather than just stamping on them?)

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Guest post: Gill Lewis | Natural England, wild Peregrines, and Falconry

“The decision by Natural England to licence a falconer, Gary Wall, to remove peregrines from the wild, has exploded across social media. If this has taken Natural England by surprise, it shouldn’t have. Peregrines are much loved birds. A rebound in their numbers after suffering huge declines in the 1960s and 1970s has inspired conservationists and birders everywhere – and writers too. Their fortunes are still mixed though. While they are not the rarity they once were, peregrines are still widely persecuted on shooting estates and are more successful in urban areas than in rural ones. Interfering with peregrines ruffles feathers.” Guest blog by Gill Lewis

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Countering the persecution of Peregrines

The Peregrine is the world’s fastest bird, reaching huge speeds as it stoops down on its prey – prey which includes racing pigeons and so-called ‘gamebirds. All of which, writes Charlie Moores, has made this supremely well-adapted falcon, protected in law for decades, a target for hobbyists and shooters. But the public are taking these spectacular birds to their hearts.

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