Monday 27 October 2014
The announcement by Police Scotland that the 20 raptors found poisoned in March near Conon Bridge were "not deliberately targeted" raises number of serious matters.
Despite the trend of crimes against birds of prey having gone down in the last 3-5 years, particularly by poisoning, the speculation around each case has become more hysterical; the RSPB even tried to link the Conon Bridge incident to grouse moor management. There are now websites and bloggers and organisations involved in police investigations who are not slow to feed information to the media and promote speculation.
This speculation is having a corrosive knock-on effect on many other aspects of land management, severely straining the relationship between land managers and conservation bodies.