Pere­grines “stolen to or­der”

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - NEWS -

Or­gan­ised crim­i­nal gangs are ran­sack­ing eggs and chicks from pere­grine fal­con nests and smug­gling them abroad to the Mid­dle East, an RSPB in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed.

In the United Arab Emi­rates and other Gulf states fal­conry is the “sport of sheikhs” and Scot­tish fal­cons are prized for their speed. There are around 500 breed­ing pairs of pere­grines in Scot­land.

“In­di­vid­u­als are steal­ing eggs and mak­ing sure they stay alive with a view to the eggs be­ing hatched and sold on for fal­conry pur­poses,” said Ian Thom­son, head of in­ves­ti­ga­tions for RSPB Scot­land. “There is a fairly lu­cra­tive market over­seas, par­tic­u­larly in the Mid­dle East, where pere­grine fal­con chicks can at­tract fees of sev­eral thou­sand pounds.”

In 2010, Jef­frey Len­drum was pros­e­cuted and sub­se­quently jailed for 30 months — re­duced to 18 months on ap­peal — af­ter be­ing dis­cov­ered at­tempt­ing to take 14 pere­grine fal­con eggs, worth £70,000, from the UK to Dubai in 2010. Mem­bers of the Shoot­ing Times Wood­cock Club can now buy their tick­ets to the See­land Wood­cock Club Din­ner, which will be held at the ex­clu­sive Sav­ile Club in May­fair, London on Thurs­day, 21 March 2019.

The af­ter-din­ner speaker is Sir Ni­cholas Soames and there will be an auc­tion sup­port­ing the GWCT’S work on wood­cock con­ser­va­tion. Tick­ets are £90.

Email sarah.prat­ley @ti-me­dia. com for more in­for­ma­tion.

A Con­ser­va­tion and Young

Shots fund or­gan­ised by BASC Wilt­shire is wel­com­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for project fund­ing.

Grants are avail­able to sup­port small-scale con­ser­va­tion projects and to en­cour­age young­sters to get in­volved in coun­try­side ac­tiv­i­ties within the county. Both BASC mem­bers and other non-mem­ber groups can ap­ply, but ap­pli­cants need to live in Wilt­shire.

Email south­[email protected] for more in­for­ma­tion.

AP­PLY

Pere­grines are pro­tected un­der the Wildlife & Coun­try­side Act 1981

The Con­ser­va­tion and Young Shots fundwill sup­port small projects in Wilt­shire

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