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.

Wednesday 22 August 2018

RSPB members protest over controversial crow cull

8 AUGUST 2018 • 5:55PM

RSPB members have quit the organisation and accused it of behaving like bloodsport enthusiasts over a controversial crow culling programme intended to protect threatened birds.

Members have complained they signed up to the charity without being told it was actively killing certain species.

Tensions have spilled over in recent days resulting in one RSPB warden apologising for telling critics they were “knuckleheads and nimbies”.

The disquiet focuses principally on a cull of crows which has been undertaken to protect the Eurasian curlew, whose breeding population in the UK has halved since the mid-1990s.

The RSPB said it goes to great lengths to avoid “predator control” but that it saw “no other viable conservation alternatives”.

The five-year recovery programme is being undertaken across two areas in Northern England, two in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

How can an organisation enact long term change through lobbying and speaking up for nature when those supposedly wanting a change turn their backs and withdraw their support? Unless you're going to do it on your own, get over yourselves and see the bigger picture #ImNaturesVoice

The measures have included shooting and the use of larsen traps, a device which traps birds alive

The organisation said it killed 528 hooded crows in 2016-17, up from 475 the year before, as well as 414 foxes, an increase of 390 in the previous year.

However, a row has broken out among members, with some expressing distress that that the RSPB has hired gamekeepers from shooting estates to help with the cull.

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