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.

Thursday 20 December 2018

Grouse moor regulation needed to end raptor killing, says RSPB Scotland

The charity is questioning whether current wildlife protection legislation is fit for purpose.

Last updated: 14 December 2018 - 12.10am

Conservationists are calling for tougher regulation of grouse moors to end the persecution of Scotland’s raptors.

RSPB Scotland has published a new report which it said details the clear associations between the decline or absence of these birds in some areas and intensive grouse moor management and wildlife crime, and is calling for action to tackle the issue.

The study, titled The Illegal Killing Of Birds Of Prey In Scotland 2015-17, found that the vast majority of raptor persecution incidents are occurring in areas of Scotland’s uplands managed for intensive driven grouse shooting.

Over that three-year period there were 38 confirmed, detected incidents of illegal killing of protected birds of prey, including shooting, trapping, illegal poisoning and nest destruction; however, the report suggests the crimes being recorded are a fraction of what is actually taking place.

Intensive grouse moor management is having a disproportionate impact on our important upland ecosystems and specially protected birds

Duncan Orr-Ewing, RSPB Scotland
Meanwhile, during those three years, five satellite-tagged hen harriers and eight satellite-tagged golden eagles “disappeared”, with 11 of those 13 incidents occurring on land managed for driven grouse shooting, the charity said.

The RSPB questions whether current wildlife protection legislation is fit for purpose and recommends that driven grouse shooting estates should be licensed, with the right to shoot dependent on “legal, sustainable management practices”.

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