As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 30 November 2012

Raptor persecution in Scotland 2011 – New report

Report reveals illegal killing remains ‘significant threat' to birds of prey
November 2012. Illegal shooting, trapping, nest destruction and poisoning continue to pose a significant threat to Scotland's birds of prey, according to the latest annual report by RSPB Scotland, covering 2011.

The Illegal Killing of Birds of Prey in Scotland in 2011
The report, The Illegal Killing of Birds of Prey in Scotland in 2011, revealed that, as in previous years, some of the country's rarest bird of prey species continue to be the victims of wildlife crimes such as the illegal use of crow traps and the setting out of baits in the open, laced with illegal and highly toxic chemicals.

Reduced - But still an issue
Whilst the report acknowledged a decline in the number of detected poisoning incidents in comparison to the previous few years, in 2011 a total of 20 birds, including 4 red kites and a golden eagle were amongst those confirmed by Scottish Government testing to have been poisoned.

Other incidents recorded by RSPB Scotland during the year included a buzzard starved to death in a crow trap, a short-eared owl, a Golden eagle shota Golden eagle trapped, two peregrines and three buzzards shot and a goshawk nest destroyed.

Hen harriers and Golden eagles ‘disappearing'
The report also highlights the suspicious disappearances of nesting hen harriers and peregrines, and of golden eagles fitted with satellite transmitters by scientists studying their movements and survival.

As in recent years, the majority of incidents of illegal killing took place in areas managed for driven grouse shooting, particularly in the eastern and central Highlands and the southern Uplands of Scotland.

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland's Head of Investigations said "Many of these crimes were discovered purely by chance, by walkers or birdwatchers, in remote areas of countryside, it's safe to assume that many victims of illegal killing are not detected or reported.

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