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, 4 October 2013

'Fewer birds of prey poisoned'

The number of birds of prey illegally poisoned fell dramatically last year, a report has revealed.

The first annual report on wildlife crime in Scotland shows the number of confirmed poisonings of birds of prey fell from 16 in 2011 and 30 in 2009 to just three last year.

One golden eagle and two buzzards were found to have been poisoned during 2012 and over the past five years there have been a total of 94 confirmed poisonings of birds of prey.

But while there is a "encouraging decline" in poisoning cases, the report raised concerns that other forms of persecution could be increasing.

"The last few years have shown an encouraging decline in raptor poisoning numbers. It is too early to say yet whether this represents a genuine reduction in overall raptor persecution, or whether there has been a corresponding increase in other forms of persecution," the report stated.

While there was one case in the northern region where a golden eagle was poisoned last year, there was a case in Tayside where such a bird was trapped and another case in Dumfries and Galloway where a golden eagle was shot.

Conservation charity RSPB Scotland says it is concerned that some criminals may have changed tactics from illegal poisoning to trapping, shooting and destroying nests.

It is now calling for more resources to be put into tackling and preventing such crimes.

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