A fresh front was in the war between conservationists and shooting interests recently when a young golden eagle disappeared over a grouse moor – the 12th to have vanished over what has been described as a “black hole” for the birds.
RSPB Scotland spoke out after the incident in the northern Monadhliath Mountains of Inverness-shire.
The charity pointed the finger at grouse shooting interests, which are strongly suspected to have been behind many attacks on birds of prey – including endangered white-tailed sea eagles and peregrines.
Indeed, a young hen harrier went missing from a grouse moor – on the so-called glorious 12th of August, the day the shooting season began.
However, the grouse shooting industry has hit back and has accused the RSPB of conducting a smear campaign against it.
Like the guns booming over the moors, the debate shows no signs of going quiet.
That’s why we’ve brought both sides together to put their case. Here, Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland and David Johnstone of Scottish Land and Estates explain their positions in the great war of the grouse moors.