Tag: peregrine

Peregrine chicks taken in Peak District nest raid

Another godawful headline (this time from the Derby Telegraph) for the ‘authorities’ that supposedly run the Peak District National Park – a supposedly protected landscape blasted by grouse shooting and a bottomless pit for wildlife crime and raptor persecution. No, there is nothing in the newspaper report that specifically points to grouse shooting for the removal of yet more Peregrines – it could have been Mark Avery’s fabled ‘nurses on a day out’ enjoying a spot of falcon theft what done it – and it could have been linked to pigeon flyers or wealthy falconers – but the fact is that the ‘dark peak’ area of this blighted part of the countryside is notorious for its gamekeepers and their tight hold over everything that comes in or out of the grouse moors, and (as Bob Berzins memorably put it in a stinging post on Mountain Hare persecution in the very same ‘national park’ just yesterday), “There is no video footage of gamekeepers shooting mountain hares but then again there’s no footage of them shooting raptors either. So we’re left to explain the gaps in our skies, our missing birds and mammals…Spend time in the uplands and it’s obvious what’s happening”.

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Scotland | Police Officer charged after raid uncovers ‘peregrine falcon eggs’

The case reported below is ongoing so it would be wrong to speculate on it specifically, but social media regularly claims that ‘corrupt’ police are attending illegal fox hunts, monitoring shoots, and behaving as interpreters of the law rather than enforcers of it. There is undoubtedly some bias against what some officers see as ‘left-wing antis’ (us pro-wildlife folk in other words) disturbing ‘traditional countryside pursuits’ (ie those killing wildlife), does that mean all officers are corrupt though? Of course not, and it’s worth noting here that it was officers that ‘swooped’ at dawn to arrest one of their own as part of “an ongoing investigation into allegations of serious organised crime”. It’ll be very interesting to see how this case develops when it gets to court, but the last thing one of the UK’s most targeted birds needs is the very people who should be upholding the laws protecting it being amongst those actually persecuting it…

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North Yorkshire | Peregrine found shot at Selby Abbey

North Yorkshire. A region blighted with grouse shooting estates. A region on its way to becoming synonymous with wildlife crime. Even the local newspapers recognise the appalling record for raptor persecution of this part of the UK: In July last year the Yorkshire Post printed a list of SIXTEEN raptor persecution incidents from just January 2018 to July 2020 under the heading ‘North Yorkshire – a black hole for raptors‘. In October of the same year the Post quoted a frustrated Guy Shorrock, a senior and highly-respected member of the RSPB’s Investigations Team, saying that “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.” Our wildlife needs better protection. But as yet another bird of prey dies in North Yorkshire, just how convinced are campaigners and activists that anything will change anytime soon? Not convinced at all.

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Shropshire’s Peregrine Poisoners at it again…

Hot on the heels of the poisoned Golden Eagle found dead next to a baited Mountain Hare on the notorious Invercauld Estate, news has broken that Shropshire’s Peregrine Poisoners have been killing again. Peregrine falcons have been poisoned – again – at Clee Hill and once again the poisoners tethered live pigeons smeared with poison as bait. Clee Hill (part of the Shropshire Hills AONB) is notorious for the persecution of Peregrines: two were found poisoned with Diazinon (an organophosphate insecticide, highly toxic to birds, fish and bees, used in products such as sheep dip) at the site in 2010, one in 2011, another in 2015, and a pair in 2017. There’s a very telling quote from the Shropshire Peregrine Group in the piece we quote: “We know who is responsible, and local people know who is responsible.” Of course they do, just as shooting estates know damn well who’s poisoning Golden Eagles, shooting Hen Harriers, and destroying Peregrine nests. But proving it is incredibly difficult and takes co-operation and partnerships – something those shielding wildlife criminals still seem very reluctant to be a part of…

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Another Peregrine poisoned on a Peak District grouse moor

Another day, and the RSPB are having to write yet another press-release (posted below) describing yet another dead Peregrine found poisoned inside one of our so-called ‘national parks’ – the notorious ‘Dark Peak’ region of the Peak District National Park, a raptor persecution hotspot dominated by grouse farms and patrolled by gamekeepers. This particular Peregrine was found next to a baited Wood Pigeon by a fell runner nine months ago, and the toxicology results have only just been released. Not Carbofuran this time, but another favourite of the ‘professional poisoner’: bendiocarb, a constituent of the infamous ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’. Why the delay in letting the public know about highly potent illegal poisons being used in an open area with public access is not currently known. Let’s hope it’s a Covid-related issue and not ‘shielding’ of a more sinister type…If you would like to help stop this in the future, please learn to Recognise incidents of wildlife crime, learn how to Record them properly, and always Report them: even if nothing seems to be done immediately, it does help establish a pattern and help to ensure that the ‘professionals’ know we’re out there watching them.

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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 eradicating raptors in North Yorkshire for decades…

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