RSPB Press Release: Illegal Bird Traps discovered on Deeside grouse moor

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RSPB Scotland has appealed for information following the discovery of illegally-set spring traps in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The conservation organisation has commended the actions of two members of the public who alerted it to a distressed bird caught in a trap they came across while out walking but is disappointed that, as with many wildlife crimes, the perpetrators are yet to be identified.
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Following further searches in the area clear evidence was found that eight similar traps had been deployed, attached to stakes and baited with dead rabbits

Continue reading RSPB Press Release: Illegal Bird Traps discovered on Deeside grouse moor

Eagle Owls success in Bowland, but Hen Harriers & Peregrines complete failure 2016

Surprisingly the only successful raptors to breed this year in the Forest of Bowland is the Eagle Owl, one pair have managed against all the odd to raise a brood of 3 chicks on moorland owned by United Utilities this season. What is amazing about this years  development, their first clutch of eggs are reported as having been stolen. It is unusual for an Eagle Owl to lay a repeat clutch, but that is just what the experts are saying took place.

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Brood of Forest of Bowland Eagle Owls, but what does the future hold for them

The whole operation has now been filmed by the One Show and will be broadcast in the next week or so. Are we now going to see claims by the shooting community that the successful breeding pair have killed and eaten all the missing Hen Harriers and Peregrines which have now been lost from the Forest of Bowland? And we should ask what is the future for the 3 fledged owlets once they migrate to other shooting estates in the region, will they be killed, most likely sadly.

 

Bearded vultures released in the Baronnies – a new reintroduction site – finally fledged


 

Girun and Volcaire  – two young bearded vultures bred in captivity within the VCF managed captive-breeding network – were placed in the hacking platform on the 3rd of June, as part of the reintroduction project in the Alps-Grands Causses, now managed under the LIFE GYPCONNECT project.

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Black vulture in Mallorca – new record this breeding season with 25 eggs hatched – but some controversy over access to exclusion areas too

Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca

Black vulture in Mallorca – new record this breeding season with 25 eggs hatched – but some controversy over access to exclusion areas too.

Continue reading Black vulture in Mallorca – new record this breeding season with 25 eggs hatched – but some controversy over access to exclusion areas too

The only Hen Harrier we are likely to see in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland

Mark Avery and Chris Packham drinking a few cans of the Local Hen Harrier beer, the only type of Hen Harrier anyone is now likely to see in the Forest of Bowland, or anywhere else in England for that matter following extensive persecution. Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

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And guess what, you don’t need a pair of binoculars to see these Hen Harriers, nor to you shoot them, you drink them, as many as you like.

 

The Home-Life of a Golden Eagle, a nostalgic look back in time at the King of Scottish Raptors

Between the years 1906 and 1910, pioneering photographer Harry Macpherson laboured long and hard amongst the Scottish Grampian highlands to create the first photographic record of breeding Golden Eagles in Scotland. Now Terry Pickford recounts the exploits of this unsung Highland warrior from a past era.

“In a wild deer-forest in the heart of the Grampian range, there lies a dark gloomy corrie, where the sun penetrates for but a few short hours during the long summer’s day. At the head of the gorge where the rocks rise almost perpendicularly from the banks of a brawling burn, a pair of Golden Eagles had first made their eyrie in by-gone days.” 

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Plate 18 – Father and Daughter

Continue reading The Home-Life of a Golden Eagle, a nostalgic look back in time at the King of Scottish Raptors

Raptor Poisoning: Scotland’s Shame

During the early 1970’s when I worked in the Scottish Highlands for a great raptor conservationist Douglas Weir, I spend many enjoyable weeks each summer tracking through the Inverness glens looking for nesting golden eagles and peregrines. The data I recorded of occupied sites found was then passed back to Doug Weir; in turn Doug Weir agreed to pay for the fuel I used during my many happy hours of peregrinations (4 shillings and six pence a gallon). I recall the first golden eagle eyrie I ever located in June 1974 containing two 3 week old eaglets, that was a memory and experience I shall never forget for the rest of my life, forging a lifelong commitment protecting raptors both in the UK and throughout my adult life in countries abroad.
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Image courtesy of Terry Pickford

Peregrine Falcon Persecution – Driven Grouse Shooting

Terry Pickford, Regional Coordinator North West Raptor Group explains in this short video the reason why he believes so many historic Peregrine Falcon territories located just a few miles outside Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland rarely suffer from persecution and are therefore successful most years.

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Please sign the petition below to prevent the Hen Harrier from becoming extinct in England

This protected bird is asking for your help.

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Hen Harriers have been fully protected by law since 1954 yet they are still being killed on some grouse moors.

The Forest of Bowland was once the English stronghold of this species with over a dozen pairs.

The Forest of Bowland has a Hen Harrier logo yet none nested here in 2016.

In 2015 four males suddenly ‘disappeared’.

In 2014 two young females ‘disappeared’.

Their ‘crime’ is eating Red Grouse that people shoot for fun.

Someone is killing our Hen Harriers

You have the power to save your local Hen Harriers.

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting.

http://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

A message from Chris Packham

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Bearded vulture captive breeding for conservation – 2015 report published

Captive breeding  has had a profound impact in returning the Bearded Vulture back into many former breeding locations throughout Europe 

Now that the breeding season in the bearded vulture captive breeding network managed by the VCF has finished, we are also publishing the final results and report for last year´s. As you can read in the document below, last year´s breeding season was a record breaking – from 33 hatchlings, 26 survived, surpassing the previous record of 25 fledglings in 1999. This year results have been even better!

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