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, 13 February 2020

Scottish rural groups criticise general licence restrictions

10 February 2020 | by FarmingUK Team | NewsRenewables and Environment

The amendments to general licences follow a public consultation which received over 700 responses

Scottish rural groups have criticised moves to further restrict the use of general licences by saying it 'poses a threat to wildlife conservation efforts'.

Eleven species of birds, including rooks, great black-backed gulls and collared doves will have stronger protection from April 1, as they will be removed from general licences.

In six weeks’ time, the renewed licence rules mean those seeking to control birds not included on the updated list will be legally required to apply for a licence.

The announcement, made by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) on Friday 7 February, means land managers will have to apply specifically for prior approval from SNH’s licensing team to control certain birds on Special Protection Areas.

General licences allow certain birds to be killed without the need to apply for individual licences - for example, to prevent serious damage to crops, to protect public health and to help prevent predation of other, at-risk bird species.

The amendments to general licences follow a public consultation which received over 700 responses.

It comes as an additional SNH review shows that while many wild bird populations are in a healthy condition, a range of pressures, including climate change, means others have decreased, and are in need of greater protection.

The licence review also concluded that the control of greylag geese, a species already listed on the licence, should be extended to year-round control, to help minimise widespread agricultural damage to grass pasture and emerging crops.

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