RSPB’S BIRD KILLING REPORT
A new RSPB report shows nearly 200 reports of shooting and destruction of birds of prey and 50 reports of wildlife poisoning and pesticide related offences across the UK in 2015 The charity says tougher legislation and enforcement is essential if raptors are to thrive in their natural environment again. The body of a Hen Harrier, which fledged in 2016, was recently found in Northumberland. While it appears to have died with a disease, it had survived being illegally shot on an earlier date. The RSPB’S Birdcrime 2015 report reveals that in 2015 there were 196 reports of shooting and destruction of birds of prey including the confirmed shooting of 16 Buzzards, 11 Peregrines, three Red Kites, one Red-footed Falcon and one Hen Harrier. Of the total 92 confirmed persecution incidents, 61% occurred in England, 29% in Scotland, 9% in Northern Ireland and 1% in Wales. Birdcrime 2015 also shows 50 reports of wildlife poisoning and pesticide-related offences. Confirmed victims of poisoning include 15 Buzzards, four Red Kites, and three Peregrines. These figures must represent only a fraction of the illegal persecution in the UK, with many incidents undetected and unreported. Martin Harper, RSPB director of conservation, said: “Our uplands are deprived of some amazing wildlife because of ongoing illegal persecution and it has to stop.” For the first time in January 2015, an Aberdeenshire gamekeeper, George Mutch, received a four month prison sentence for the killing of a Goshawk, the illegal use of two cage traps, and the taking of a Buzzard and a second Goshawk. The offences came to light during the review of footage captured by RSPB video cameras deployed on the Kildrummy Estate in August 2012, as part of a long-term project monitoring the use of cage traps in Scotland.
RSPB officer finding a poison cache in North Yorkshire
This man was caught on a RSPB camera taking a peregrine chick - he remains unidentified