Find information, pages & articles on British & Irish Birds, Birding & Birdwatching...

‘More evidence required’ before mountain hare culls are regulated, says Cabinet Secretary

More parliamentary questions about the mass slaughter of mountain hares have been asked recently, thanks to Alison Johnstone MSP (Scottish Green Party). We were particularly interested in this one: Question S5W-04501: Alison Johnstone, Lothian, Scottish Green Party. Date lodged: 4/11/2016. To ask the Scottish Government what measures it is taking to ensure that estates adhere […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fRjJRD

Birders’ Choice Awards 2016

Birdwatch magazine is once again hosting the annual Birders’ Choice Awards, now in its third year. These awards are designed to ‘celebrate the best – and condemn the worst – in birding and conservation’. We were genuinely surprised, and flattered, to find ourselves nominated in the Conservation Hero of the Year category. Looking at the […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gwHIUJ

SSPCA powers: revisiting the role and powers of the water bailiffs

Many of you will know that we’ve been following the glacial progress of the Scottish Government’s decision on whether the SSPCA should be given increased investigatory powers to help tackle wildlife crime, and particularly, illegal raptor persecution. Here’s an overview of how this ‘key priority’ has been (mis)handled so far. Following the consultation, which ended […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gRwGwm

Hen harrier ‘reintroduction’ to southern England: an update

One of the six action points in DEFRA’s Hen Harrier Inaction Plan is to ‘reintroduce’ hen harriers to southern England: DEFRA’s HH Inaction Plan has been widely criticised by conservationists, with the main focus being on the brood meddling part. The proposed southern ‘reintroduction’ hasn’t received much attention, largely because the scoping project on which […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2go79Yh

Congratulations to multi-award winning Mull Eagle Watch!

Mull Eagle Watch is a community-based partnership offering visitors the chance to enjoy guided trips to see the reintroduced white-tailed eagles without disturbing them. Starting in 2000 at Loch Frisa, the project has grown to become one of the UK’s best-known and loved wildlife tourism attractions, bringing in five million pounds to the island every […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fBL9uQ

Raptor persecution data withheld from Scot Gov’s latest annual wildlife crime report

The Scottish Government has today published its latest annual Wildlife Crime Report – the 4th one since it became a statutory obligation under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011. The current report is entitled the ‘2015’ report, but it actually refers to wildlife crimes recorded from April 2014 to March 2015. Just like […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fggVik

Cairngorms National Park mountain hare cover up denied

Last week we blogged (here) about an extraordinary comment attributed to Eleanor Mackintosh, a Board member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA). During a discussion with the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association on 29 September 2016, Ms Mackintosh apparently suggested they use covers on the back of vehicles to hide the evidence of mountain hare culls […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gkAQsv

New PhD study to examine impact of medicated grit on moorland ecosystem

Excellent news! A PhD scholarship is on offer at Leeds University to examine the impact of the drug Flubendazole (the active ingredient in medicated grit) in grouse moor river catchments. Medicated grit is routinely used by the grouse shooting industry to dose red grouse with high quantities of the worming drug Flubendazole. It’s being used […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2faPFl6

Raptor persecution in Northern Ireland: 2014 annual report published

Press release from Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (Northern Ireland) NI raptor deaths rise, new report reveals A report into the illegal killing of Northern Ireland’s native birds of prey has been published by the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime. It reveals there were nine confirmed illegal poisoning or persecution incidents, affecting 11 […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gp5TEM

Statement from Wildlife Estates Scotland on membership status of Newlands Estate

Those of you who’ve been following the long drawn-out saga of prosecutions relating to the wildlife crime that took place on Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire in 2015 will know that we’ve been asking questions of various organisations associated with this estate. One of those questions has been about the membership status of the Newlands Estate in […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gKBEMc

Vicarious liability prosecution: Andrew Duncan (Newlands Estate), part 11

They’re having a laugh. Criminal proceedings continued yesterday (22 November 2016) against landowner Andrew Walter Bryce Duncan, who is alleged to be vicariously liable for the crimes committed by gamekeeper William (Billy) Dick in April 2014. Gamekeeper Dick was convicted in August 2015 of killing a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire by striking it […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fEEHRi

Brood meddling: the proposed social science study

We’ve recently been blogging about DEFRA’s hen harrier brood meddling scheme, due to start in the 2017 breeding season. A series of FoIs has uncovered some of the plans to date (e.g. see here, here, here). Today’s blog relates to the proposed social science study, which is being viewed as an integral part of the […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fYwPdS

Case against gamekeeper Stanley Gordon re: shot hen harrier, part 6

Criminal proceedings continued at Elgin Sheriff Court on Friday against Scottish gamekeeper Stanley Gordon. Mr Gordon, 60, of Cabrach, Moray, is facing a charge in connection with the alleged shooting of a hen harrier in June 2013. Here’s a summary of what’s happened so far in this case: Hearing #1 (19 May 2016): Case continued […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gcJ0ou

Vicarious liability prosecution: Andrew Duncan (Newlands Estate) part 10

Criminal proceedings continued on 15 November 2016 against landowner Andrew Walter Bryce Duncan, who is alleged to be vicariously liable for the crimes committed by gamekeeper William (Billy) Dick in April 2014. Gamekeeper Dick was convicted in August 2015 of killing a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire by striking it with rocks and repeatedly […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2g4Ec4n

Cover up in the Cairngorms National Park!

Well done to Scottish animal charity OneKind for organising today’s protest rally at the Scottish Parliament, enabling campaigners to call on MSPs to put an end to the mass unregulated slaughter of tens of thousands of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors. Ingeniously, OneKind replicated the now infamous image of that truckload of dead mountain […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2eJJd4y

Protest rally against mountain hare slaughter takes place at Holyrood tomorrow

Just a reminder that there will be a protest rally outside the Scottish Parliament building tomorrow, against the continued slaughter of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors. As many of you will know, tens of thousands of mountain hares are massacred on Scottish grouse moors, including inside the Cairngorms National Park. These killing sprees are […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2gh5wPj

Brood meddling: the role of the ICBP

We’ve learned, through a series of FoIs about DEFRA’s planned hen harrier brood meddling scheme, that the practical aspect of the trial (i.e. the removal of eggs/chicks from the nests and the subsequent captive-rearing) will be undertaken by the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Gloucestershire (see here and here for previous blogs). The […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fUHuqe

More brood meddling revelations

Following on from yesterday’s blog on some of the details emerging about DEFRA’s hen harrier brood meddling scheme (see here), here are some more revelations that have come to light from a series of FoIs. There’s a document written by Steve Redpath, Adam Smith (GWCT) and Martin Gillibrand (then secretary of the Moorland Association) dated […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fSXlEv

Hen Harrier brood management working group: what they’ve got planned

In January 2016, DEFRA published its Hen Harrier (In)Action Plan (see here). There are six ‘action’ points, including #6, a brood management (meddling) trial, where it is proposed to remove hen harrier eggs/chicks from driven grouse moors when breeding pairs have reached a certain density on that moor or on nearby moors, hatch and rear […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2ex3SZw

Review of European gamebird hunting regulatory systems due to be published shortly

The Scottish Government’s long-awaited review of the systems used to regulate gamebird hunting in other European countries is due to be published ‘shortly’. This review was first commissioned two and a half years ago by former Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, during a parliamentary debate on wildlife crime / raptor persecution, way back in May 2014 […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2eQrBiH

BBC Radio Scotland features 30 minute discussion on raptor persecution

BBC Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme this morning featured a 30 minute discussion about raptor persecution. The interviewees included Duncan Orr-Ewing (RSPB Scotland), Logan Steele (Scottish Raptor Study Group), Tim (Kim) Baynes (Scottish Moorland Group) and Derek Calder (Head Gamekeeper, Edinglassie Estate). The programme’s presenter, Euan McIlwraith, said he wanted to ‘get under the […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2ftwD6c

Satellite-tagged hen harrier Tarras ‘disappears’ in Peak District National Park

‘Tarras’, a young hen harrier from this year’s Langholm cohort, has ‘disappeared’ in the Peak District National Park. The following statement has been issued on the Langholm blog: We have concerns for ‘Tarras’ a young female Hen Harrier tagged by Stephen Murphy (Natural England) at Langholm this summer. The transmitter on the juvenile Hen Harrier […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/satellite-tagged-hen-harrier-tarras-disappears-in-peak-district-national-park/

Scottish petitions committee to hear more evidence on licensing of gamebird hunting

Two weeks ago, representatives from the Scottish Raptor Study Group and RSPB Scotland gave compelling evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee, advocating the need for the licensing of gamebird hunting across Scotland (we blogged about it here). Today, the Petitions Committee reconvened and discussed how they were going to move forward with this petition […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/scottish-petitions-committee-to-hear-more-evidence-on-licensing-of-gamebird-hunting/

National survey reveals golden eagles still ‘missing’ from Eastern Highland grouse moors

The results of a national survey of golden eagle territories have revealed mixed fortunes for this iconic species. The survey, undertaken in 2015 by licensed experts from the Scottish Raptor Study Group and the RSPB, was a follow up to the previous national survey, undertaken in 2003. The recent survey shows an overall 15% increase […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/national-survey-reveals-golden-eagles-still-missing-from-eastern-highland-grouse-moors/

‘Species Champions’ Scottish parliamentary debate: a refreshing change

For those of you sickened and disheartened by recent political antics, here’s a refreshing change. Yesterday there was a debate in the Scottish Parliament, introduced by Graeme Dey MSP. The motion of the debate was as follows: That the Parliament welcomes the relaunch of the Species Champions initiative; understands that Scottish Environment LINK is asking […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/species-champions-scottish-parliamentary-debate-a-refreshing-change/

Hen Harrier Rowan ‘likely to have been shot’ in Yorkshire Dales National Park

On 28 October 2016 we learned that one of this year’s young hen harriers had been found dead in Cumbria in suspicious circumstances (see blog here). This was a hen harrier called Rowan, who had hatched at Langholm this summer and was one of two hen harriers being satellite-tracked by the Hawk & Owl Trust. […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fvWSvs

Marsh harrier found shot on East Yorkshire sporting estate

On 7th September 2016 an adult female Marsh harrier was found with shotgun injuries next to a partridge release pen on an East Yorkshire sporting estate. The bird was rescued and underwent surgery at Battle Flatts vets in North Yorkshire. After surgery the bird was sent to Jean Thorpe in Ryedale for a period of […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2ffPOkg

Dishonourable members

A one-word summary of Monday’s Westminster ‘debate’ on driven grouse shooting: Dishonourable: adjective. Bringing shame or disgrace on someone or something. Synonyms: disgraceful, shameful, shameless, disreputable, discreditable, degrading, ignominious, ignoble, blameworthy, contemptible, despicable, reprehensible, shabby, shoddy, sordid, sorry, base, low, improper, unseemly, unworthy, unprincipled, unscrupulous, corrupt, untrustworthy, treacherous, perfidious, traitorous, villainous, shady, crooked, low-down, dirty, […]
Read in full at Raptor Persecution UK http://ift.tt/2fhyL06

RSPB News Feed

BTO News Feed