Bird Watching (UK) - - News -

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

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