Sunday, 20 November 2011

Raptor persecution in the UK past and PRESENT! Sign the e-petition!

As the year draws to an end including another breeding season for British birds of prey we can look back and reflect on not just breeding successes and failures but also the persecution that birds of prey have had to face.

527 crimes relating to birds of prey were reported relating to birds of prey in 2010 which is actually down on previous years but the sad fact still stares us in the face that it is still taking place! I'm sure you will also be aware more will have gone undetected or not reported, but what are the main causes of persecution.

The RSPB bird crime report 2010 shows a variety of case studies and areas of persecution reported to them but the two main areas of persecutin from the 527 reported were Shooting and destruction of birds of prey 227 reported cases and poisoning and use of poisoned bait 128 cases reported. Details of such activities can be found in the report but even if the arguement that these cases are not proven surely something is going on if so many have been reported. They can't all be mistakes can they?

The gamekeeper and shoot managers get the brunt of these cases and most of you who follow this topic will have read various articles between the two interested parties, those for birds of prey and those for the shooting fraternity usually always of the same substance but sadly breeding figures aswell as persecution evidence shows birds of prey just don't thrive on shooting estates. The sensitive subject lies with who takes the blame when such crimes are brought against the shooting estates where the majority of raptor persecution seems to be taking place in the UK. My opinion and various other's is that it should fall not just with the person(s) in question but the landowner in the form of vicarious liability. This is soon to be introduced in Scotland and surely it will make landowners take an interest in whats happening on their land.

A petition has been started to bring the subject of vicarious liability to the House of Common's for England, surely for the sake of British birds of prey it is something that should be at least discussed if we are to try and change the victorian image some people have of birds of prey in the UK. Who are we to say what can and can't live and survive on this island?

To make a stand against bird of prey persecution take five minutes to sign the petition below

To read the full RSPB Birdcrime 2010 click here

Birds of prey in the news!

There have been plenty of birds of prey stories popping up in the UK news you can check some of them out below by following the links.

A Honey Buzzard who caught a plane home -

RSPB's crackdown on pesticides -

Red Kite and Raven poisoned -

Poisoned bait found on Scottish estate -

RSPB launches its Skydancers project -

Red Kites increase in Scotland -

Further Raptor Persecution in UK -

Another dead Peregrine -

Peregrines vanish from grouse moors -

 Eagle rescue -

All of the above is to be read and digested as you please I obviously have my own personal opinions, but one article I have come across which I do think is a load of tripe is below!

Where has November gone?

I have kept meaning to write a new post then I have been dragged off to another job or work. Well I have plenty for you to read about and a VERY important e-petition coming up straight after this entry PLEASE take the time to read and sign. But before then I have got plenty for you to have a look at below!

I have a few papers and a new interview which have dropped into my inbox over the last month all of which you can find links to below.

Firstly a new interview on the African Raptors website by Andrew Jenkins one of SA leading raptor biologists explaining his extensive work on the Taita Falcon in Africa.

Staying with falcons I also received a copy of a publication based on Eleonoras Falcon wintering in Madagascar, this study was carried out by satellitte tagging a few falcons. The publicaton is below

Satellitte tagging birds of prey for research purposes is something that has become more and more popular opening up a whole new means of understanding things like migration but how many people have asked what effects this might have on the birds. Below is an article based on the effects have on Red Kites in England.

If vultures are your thing there has been a recent publication on Two species of Iberian Vultures by studying Integrating effects of supplementary feeding, poisoning, pollutant ingestion and wind farms of two vulture species in Spain using a population viability analysis

One of the more unusual papers I have posted on here is the one below regarding a Crested Eagle feeding a Post fledged Harpy Eagle in Panama, if anyone else has ever come across this in other species why not get in touch

The IUCN has recently released new figures for the Red List of threatened species, I am currently in the process of developing several world maps highlighting raptor species but before then take a look at ARKives press release

If like me you think it is vitally important we connect kids with the natural world then check out this fantastic game ARKive have developed to educate children about some of the worlds most endangered animals I will also be adding this to my links page in the kids section!

Dont forget to keep an eye on the monthly raptor profile page on the right hand tool bar as I will be adding a new species for November, supported by ARKive!

If there are any budding raptor biologists out there or even some current field biologists reading this why not take a look below at whats going on.
If you fancy a far flung trip away adding to your field work CV why not take a trip to the Baikal Reserve and volunteer on the reserve as an ornithologist for the resurrection of one of their trapping/ringing sites

GREFA is a NGO from Spain and they are currently looking for a biologist or veterinarian willing to develop a research project in their facilities, mainly involving captive breeding techniques (incubation, captive brehavior, etc.). No contact details were supplied.

Do you know of a field biologist who is carrying out fantastic work in the field then maybe they are worth some recognition?
Natural Research is pleased to announce that it is opening the application process for the 2012 Mike Madders Field Research Award.  The Award aims to support high quality field based ecological work, and was established in memory of Dr Mike Madders, a founding Director of Natural Research. 
 For more information on the Award and details of how to apply, please visit our web page

The BTO annual conference is coming up next month in the UK on Dec 2nd/4th more information can be found at

Closer to home in the UK raptor persecution is still the hot topic and there have been several articles and comments posted on the subject through various websites including but I will be covering some of this in more detail in my next post.

I have recently tiddied up my bird of prey links page hopefully making it easier to use and find the website of your interest, two websites I will be adding tonight are below. As always if you have a website that is of interest please don't hesitate to let me know!

I'm going to follow this entry up with one covering birds of prey in the news and then another on persecution as there is just too much to fit into one blogging page!

Hope you enjoy!