Posted on: 22 Jul 2016
RSPB Scotland has appealed for information following the discovery of illegally-set spring traps in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, one of which held a badly injured Common Gull.
The conservation organisation has commended the actions of two members of the public who alerted it to the distressed bird which was caught in a trap they came across while out walking, but it is disappointed that, as with many wildlife crimes, the perpetrators have yet to be identified.
During a walk down the northern slopes of Geallaig Hill, a few miles north-west of Ballater and on land managed for grouse shooting by the Invercauld Estate, on 27 June this year, two members of the public saw a Common Gull floundering on the ground. As they approached the distressed bird, they saw that it had been caught by the legs in two traps, later identified as illegally-set spring traps. Spring traps are legally used by gamekeepers to target Stoats and Weasels, when the traps are set in a tunnel with a restricted entrance to minimise the threat to other wildlife; they are not permitted to be set in the open where there is a risk to non-target species.