Why the Hawk & Owl Trust are wrong about Hen Harrier Brood Management

The recent support for a hen harrier brood management scheme by the Hawk & Owl Trust at a time when hen harriers in England are on the verge of extinction brings into serious question the integrity of the Trust. Who would such a proposal at this delicate time advantage? Certainly not the hen harrier because we believe any harriers which then make their way back to moorlands in northern England after being artificially reared would certainly quickly disappear. Throughout the many years the hen harrier debate has been ongoing, the shooting community have made not one single variable concession which would assist the hen harrier’s return in any reasonable number onto moorland where red grouse are shot. We urge our followers to read the NERF Press Statement published on 21st January this year. These wise words sum up and reflect the feelings of most experienced raptor workers across the country at this time.

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Brood management should only be considered when the killing stops, with a minimum of 70 breeding pairs re-established on red grouse moors throughout northern England.

Continue reading Why the Hawk & Owl Trust are wrong about Hen Harrier Brood Management

Malta approves public referendum to decide if Spring Hunting should be banned on the island

Malta’s Constitutional Court has upheld a public referendum to decide the fate of the country’s controversial spring bird hunt, which kills over ten thousand migrating birds every year.

The Constitutional Court threw out objections by Malta’s powerful hunting lobby, and instead sided with the 11 conservation groups who organized the referendum, known as the Coalition for the Abolition of Spring Hunting—gathering 40,000 signatures from Maltese voters.

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Continue reading Malta approves public referendum to decide if Spring Hunting should be banned on the island

Malta: Personalities call on public to ‘shout’ and get spring hunting banned

Musicians, TV personalties and journalists all unite under the SHOUT banner, encouraging the Maltese public to vote “No” and abolish spring hunting for ever.

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Shout ambassadors and supporters gather outside the launch. Photo: Ray Attard

Concerning implications of case involving jailing of gamekeeper by Drew Allan Feature Writer & Columnist

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George Mutch the disgraced Gamekeeper sent to prison this week for committing serious wildlife crimes.

More interesting comments regarding George Mutch’s prison sentence handed down this week by a Scottish Sheriff  have been published by the HeraldScotland today. These comments, like the one at the end of this article, make very interesting and in one respect amusing reading. There is a significant legal difference between planting a camera to track and record Wildlife Crime in the countryside, and  installing a surveillance devise in people’s gardens or their homes, which of course the Police & RSPB are legally prevented from doing. In the latter, without specific approval from senior officer,  the police in England are not allowed to do this as they are regulated by the Intrusive Surveillance Section 32 Regulation of Investigating Powers Act 2000.

Continue reading Concerning implications of case involving jailing of gamekeeper by Drew Allan Feature Writer & Columnist

Grouse-shooting and the future of hen harriers

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Stephen Murphy Natural England holding a satellite tagged Hen Harrier

Follow the attached link which takes you to a number of interesting Hen Harrier comment sent in by a variety of individuals, including Adrian Blackmore Director of shooting, Countryside Alliances published yesterday Friday 16 January. Take the time to add your own comment on this divisive subject.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/16/grouse-shooting-future-hen-harriers

America: Save a Bald Eagle but face Jail time for doing so!

An Illinois wildlife photographer is on trial for rescuing injured birds in a case that will decide just how far citizens can go to help protected wildlife.


This male eagle was released back into the Illinois wild on Jan. 1 after 18 months of care at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. (Photo: Sue Wren)

Illinois prosecutors next month will take wildlife photographer Steve Patterson to trial. His crime? Removing baby bald eagles from the wild. His punishment could be up to a year in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted of violating state laws that protect wildlife.

Horus the Peregrine – Childrens Book Review by Ewan Miles

The latest children’s book in the ‘Chick Book’ series is out this winter (Dec 2014) and is named Horus the Peregrine Falconwhich follows the story of a newly fledged peregrine surviving in the city of London. The name Horus comes from a highly worshipped falcon god in Egypt 5000 years ago, with worshipping continuing by the conquering Greeks and Romans 2500 years later!

The book begins with the hatching of Horus and three other chicks at the Houses of Parliament, high up Victoria Tower, looking across to some of the cities iconic landmarks like Big Ben and The London Eye. An abundance of factual species information is included, starting from the very first page, with two examples of sexual dimorphism of peregrines, with the females being larger than the males from birth.
Front cover
Urban peregrines main food source, feral pigeon are featured strongly in the book due to the damage the pigeons can cause to urban areas through the spread of disease, and also their droppings damaging stonework. This emphasises the important role the raptors play in controlling their numbers. Page 6-7 of the book quickly confirms why the subtitle is ‘Catch the Pigeon’.

Man facing court over gin trap fox deaths in Guildford – WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

The fox died after suffering hideous injuries

A  49-year old man will be summonsed to court following a police investigation into “extremely dangerous” traps which have killed two foxes in Guildford. The unidentified man faces a number of wildlife offences

Both animals were caught in banned gin traps near Tormead School in Cranley Road, while another fox was believed to have been injured.

The spring-operated devices – illegal since 1958 – slam shut when an animal steps on them and inflict horrific injuries.

After the latest incident was reported on Thursday (January 8), Surrey Police said neighbourhood officers carried out house-to-house enquiries, searched the area for other traps, issued advice to local schools and liaised with the Wildlife Aid Foundation based in Leatherhead.

Continue reading Man facing court over gin trap fox deaths in Guildford – WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

Malta: Police drop charges against one Birdlife activist arraigned by mistake.

On the 25th November last year we published an article highlighting the impending court case involving several BirdLife Malta members who had been charged with the illegal possession of protected birds. These birds had been collected by BirdLife members after they had been shot by hunters, the ones alive were being brought to a veterinary for treatment. The court case was supported by the Maltese Hunting Federation (FKNK) who were claiming possession of these protected birds was an offence, irrespective of what the reason for holding them was. Read the full account here.

Yesterday (14/01/2015) the Maltese police dropped charges against one Birdlife activist Caroline Rance after an inspector admitted she was charged by mistake in a case instigated by the hunting federation.

Malta  The ‘incriminating’ photograph: six members of Birdlife Malta holding protected birds taken for treatment after being shot. Can you imagine the public outcry in Britain if under similar circumstances the police then charged an individual with possession after the bird/s found were then taken to a veterinary practice for treatment. How stupid, talk about the law being an ass.

The police charged Birdlife activists Fiona Burrows, Nicholas Barbara, Caroline Rance and Rupert Masefield for the possession of protected bird species after they appeared in a published photo holding dead birds as part of their work to highlight illegal hunting.

Continue reading Malta: Police drop charges against one Birdlife activist arraigned by mistake.

Dundee Scientists recover fingerprints from the feathers of birds of prey

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A team of Scottish researchers lifted fingerprints from the birds’ feathers using fluorescent powder

Scientists at the University of Abertay in Scotland claim to have made a forensic breakthrough in the fight against wildlife crime. They say that in the future tracing criminals responsible for the illegal poisoning, shooting and trapping of birds of prey has taken a step forward. If the birds have been handled, the incriminating marks could help police to identify the suspect.

The research is published in the journal Science and Justice.

Continue reading Dundee Scientists recover fingerprints from the feathers of birds of prey