Up to 10 buzzards could be trapped and shot to protect young pheasant if Natural England (the UK Government’s nature conservation agency) approves a licence application, the RSPB has learnt.
During 2013 Natural England granted two licences to control buzzards; one at a chicken farm, and one a pheasant shoot. Four other applications to control buzzards to protect pheasant shoots were rejected by Natural England.
Martin Harper, RSPB’s Conservation Director, said: “The buzzard is a fully-protected bird of prey which is only now recovering its numbers from sustained historic persecution, which saw the bird lose much of its UK population and range. Any relaxation of their current protection, coupled with ongoing persecution, could threaten local populations. Their vulnerability is a key reason why we are fighting for their protection.”