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Two more red kites found illegally killed in North Scotland

Red Kite Flying

Image by Edward Felton

Two more red kites have been confirmed by Scottish Government testing to have been illegally killed in north Scotland. Both of these incidents took place in 2014 and are now being made public as the Police have concluded their enquiries.

The first victim was found last June near Beauly, and was subsequently confirmed by post-mortem, at the SAC Veterinary laboratory in Inverness, to have been shot.

Continue reading Two more red kites found illegally killed in North Scotland

Major breakthrough in fight to save Asian vultures from extinction

A major step for the future of vultures in Asia was announced by the Indian Ministry of Health yesterday [26 August] when a ban of multi-dose vials of human formulations of diclofenac, which is responsible for the death of tens of millions of Asia’s vultures, came into force with immediate effect.   The painkiller was banned from veterinary use in India in 2006 because of its lethal effects on vultures that feed on the carcasses of treated cattle and buffaloes, but human formulations of the drug have been illegally used to treat animals since then.  The ban sees diclofenac production now restricted to human formulations in a single 3ml dose.

Continue reading Major breakthrough in fight to save Asian vultures from extinction

Two captive bred Egyptian vultures released in Italy

Last week two young Egyptian vultures bred in captivity were released in Southern Italy as part of an experiment to test procedures and get crucial data on the feasibility and relevance of captive-breeding and restocking/reintroduction projects with this species.

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The two chicks, both female, named Sara and Agata, had been placed in a hacking site in Puglia region, only a few km away from the border of Basilicata region. They’re the first two of a total of six chicks to be released this Summer.

vULTURES

Sara had hatched at CERM (Endangered Raptors Centre Association) Egyptian vulture captive breeding unit on the 18th of May while Agata hatched on the 27th of May at the Zoo Zlin, in Czech Republic. Agata and two more young Egyptian vultures born at Prague Zoo had been brought to CERM by the coordinator of the Egyptian vulture EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) Anton Vaidl, curator of birds at Prague Zoo and also a member of the VCF scientific advisory board.

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Some days later Sara and Agata were moved to Puglia, and placed into a hacking cavity, located in a spectacular rocky canyon, which had been prepared by local ornithologists Filippo Bellini, Vittorio Giacoia, Tonio Sigismondi and Giovanni Zaccaria. After four days the net that closed the cavity was removed and both the Egyptian vultures fledged.

The two fledglings were fitted with satellite transmitters, purchased by the VCF, that allow for the tracking of their long distance movements. Agata left the hacking site on the 21st of August and moved swiftly towards the south, with a first stop in Calabria, 90 km far from the hacking site. Sara left the hacking site two days later and moved southeast, towards Lecce (see map).

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This experimental release  is led by CERM (on behalf of the Italian Ministry of the Environment), in collaboration with the Vulture Conservation Foundation and the Egyptian vulture EEP. The release also had the cooperation of Puglia Region, the Parco Naturale Terra delle Gravine and LIPU/BIRDLIFE.

image (3)Both Vultures were fitted with Satallite transmitters. CERM has been breeding this species in captivity in a specialized captive breeding station in Southern Tuscany, and since 2004 has released 12 birds in southern Italy, where the few remaining Egyptian vultures in Italy occur. Soon 4 more birds will be released from a site in Calabria region.

(All photos CERM-VCF)

This article was first published by the Vulture Conservation Foundation in calibration of the Endangered Raptor Centre Association.

Petition Ban driven grouse shooting to protect the environment and protected birds like the Hen Harrier.

GrouseRaptor Politics has nearly 4000 followers on twitter, we are asking each and everyone of our followers for your help protect our moorland ecosystems and birds of prey that use these regions to breed. This year there were only 6 successful breeding pairs of hen harriers in England brought about by a campaign of illegal persecution on grouse moors by many gamekeepers.

Continue reading Petition Ban driven grouse shooting to protect the environment and protected birds like the Hen Harrier.

Do you support the Hawk and Owl Trust in their support for brood management of Hen Harriers?

RBA Reader Poll

The Hawk and Owl Trust’s continued support for brood management has been highly controversial. (© Terry Pickford)

Back in January, following a surprise announcement by the Hawk and Owl Trust (HOT) that they would support Hen Harrier brood management, we ran a poll asking readers if they supported this position.

Continue reading Do you support the Hawk and Owl Trust in their support for brood management of Hen Harriers?

The reintroduction of the Golden Eagle into the Czech Republic

This project is being carried out by a non-governmental organization in cooperation with state authorities for protection of nature in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Participants to the project also include Ostrava ZOO and other institutions and specialists. View the 3 videos at the end of this article which portray the remarkable progress so far.  The last of the 3 videos captures the moment when 3 eaglets donated by the Slovakian authorities are being released into the Jeseniky Mountains in July this year.

Eaglet being raised in captivity by foster female Eagle

3 week old eaglet being raised in captivity by foster mother Eagle

Continue reading The reintroduction of the Golden Eagle into the Czech Republic

The first nestling Griffon Vulture hatched in the Balkan Mountains for almost a century

For more than a decade our Bulgarian colleagues have been dreaming about restoring vulture populations in the Balkans – indeed the first feasibility studies for the reintroduction of griffons in the Central Balkan mountains, where they had disappeared many decades ago, was done 10 years ago.

Continue reading The first nestling Griffon Vulture hatched in the Balkan Mountains for almost a century

Over 100,000 birds killed in Malta each year – BirdLife International

Hunters

Tens of millions of migratory birds are being killed illegally each year across the Mediterranean, according to the first scientific review of its kind to be carried out in the region by BirdLife International.

Despite not ranking in the top 10 overall, Malta (where 108,000 birds are estimated to be killed illegally each year, it said) is still seeing the region’s highest estimated number of birds illegally killed per square kilometre, the Review said. In Malta: the mean estimated number of birds killed illegally each year is 108,000, with a minimum number of 5,800 and a maximum number of 211,000, the study said.

Continue reading Over 100,000 birds killed in Malta each year – BirdLife International

Images of Wildlife Slaughter, captured on Grouse Moors. Dozens of reason why Driven Grouse Shooting must be banned.

If anyone was unsure where they stood about banning driven grouse shooting in England, examine the two composite images below which may just change your mind if you had any doubts. The two images portray trapped, shot and poisoned animals and birds of prey all killed to protect game stocks which are bred and released in their millions and then shot for sport. The images are a testimony to the kind of biodiversity maintained by gamekeepers on the moorland shooting estates they patrol and manage. There is simply no biodiversity, these ecosystems have been totally destroyed managed solely for producing an over population of red grouse, pheasant, partridge which are themselves shot for pleasure and enjoyment. Please sign Mark Avery’s petition calling for a ban of all Driven Red Grouse shooting in England HERE.

Jessican Animals Killed

Various trapped animals including a badger, fox, stoats and a peregrine caught in an illegal pole trap

Jessican Raptors Killed

Images of protected birds of prey, including peregrine, goshawk, buzzard and sparrowhawk which were either  trapped, poisoned or shot to conserve game stocks which are propagated for shooting.

The Cumbrian News are running a readers poll to determine who would like to see Driven Grouse Shooting Banned

This week the Cumrian News, a local newspaper serving the people of Cumbria launched a readers poll to find out who and who would not would like to see all Driven Grouse Shooting in England banned. As of this morning Sunday 23rd August the poll is 70% to ban and 24% against. If you would like to take part in the poll follow the link to the newspapers front page, where you will find the small box with the vote selection situated on the right hand side of the page marked VOTE.

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