Peregrines “stolen to order”
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.
Peregrines are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981
The Conservation and Young Shots fundwill support small projects in Wiltshire