New petition calling for the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to be updated and amended to take account of raptor annihilation on Red Grouse Moors.

New petition calling for the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to be updated and amended to include the addition of a Vicarious Liability law, making estate owners responsible for the illegal actions of their gamekeepers. Second, the licensing of Red Grouse shooting. Last but not least, mandatory prison sentences together with more appropriate fines for killing protected birds of prey, the destruction of their nests, eggs and young.
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Peregrine embrio, one of three embryos killed in their shells prior to hatching by ice crystals place on egg shells inside the nest on a Grouse Moor

Continue reading New petition calling for the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to be updated and amended to take account of raptor annihilation on Red Grouse Moors.

86 million Americans watched wildlife in 2016, a 20 percent jump from 2011

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People watch birds at the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. Photo by Brett Billings/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Throughout the USA a survey on wildlife tourism is undertaken every 5 years. In Britain many areas have nothing done at all making it look like wildlife is not worth conserving!

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new report this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that shows that 101.6 million Americans — 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older — participated in wildlife-related activities in 2016, such as hunting, fishing, and wildlife-watching.

Continue reading 86 million Americans watched wildlife in 2016, a 20 percent jump from 2011

Wildlife in France – Harriers and their protection

The plains of Poitou-Charentes and Vendée whether they be the high open windswept areas such as those characterises by the areas to the north west and west of Poitiers towards Thouars and Parthenay or the vast low open wetlands of the Marais poitevin and coastline are especially suited to certain birds, some of which are under severe pressure at the European and National level making our region particularly important for their continued well being.

In this article I take a look at three specific birds, all Harriers which benefit from active protection and intervention measures especially with regard to reproduction, the Hen Harrier, the Marsh Harrier and the Monatgu’s Harrier and start with a short overview of each.

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NATIONAL PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN REVIEW 2018-2023 Initial Consultation ‘Your Dales’ July 2017

Mallam Cove

Malham Cove attracts thousands of Visitors each year to view one of the few Peregrines nesting in the National Park

 

Prepared on behalf of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan Steering Group

Contents 1. Summary 1 2.

Background and Introduction 2 3.

Overview of responses 3 4.

Questionnaire results 3 5.

Feedback from postcards 6 6.

Email response 6 7.

Extension area feedback 7 8.

Feedback from children 8 9.

Next steps 8 Annex 1 – selection of comments 9 1 1.

Summary

This report sets out the results of public consultation carried out between 22nd May and 3 rd July 2017 on behalf of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan steering group.

The aim of the consultation was to gain an insight into the issues that people (residents, visitors and organisations) feel are important for the future of the Park, and to help inform the 5-yearly review of the Management Plan. A particular objective was to engage with stakeholders in the new area of the National Park that was added on the 1 st August 2016.

A number of consultation methods were used. Online and paper questionnaires yielded 540 responses whilst postcards, aimed primarily at visitors to National Park centres, returned 56 responses. Twenty seven emails were returned from organisations and individuals. A total therefore of 623 responses were received.

Consultees were asked three open ended questions;

1. What do you love about the National Park?

2. How do you think the National Park could be improved?

3. What do you think are the three most important issues for the National Park Management Plan to tackle over the next five years?

Continue reading NATIONAL PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN REVIEW 2018-2023 Initial Consultation ‘Your Dales’ July 2017

Guest blog – Bowland: crimes against nature by Eleanor Upstill-Goddard.

 Eleanor is a wildlife conservationist and raptor enthusiast from Northumberland with an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management from Newcastle University.

She indulges her passion for wildlife through photography and writing.

Twitter: @DaisyEleanorug

We have all heard of the expression ‘to turn a blind eye’, meaning to pretend that a particular act or occurrence has gone unnoticed and unregistered, to ignore something or even to neglect it. I am sure there have been times in most people’s lives where they have ‘turned a blind eye’ to something. Though (hopefully!) these incidents have been rather minor ones, incidents like pretending you did not see your little brother smash your mum’s vase, or ignoring the fact that your dog just ate your favourite pair of shoes. They are incidents that are minor irritations, but they are not ones that will not have a greater impact on our lives and not generally things of huge importance. They are not for example, ones that could impact the natural world, the ecosystem, or to be more specific, the protection of our birds of prey.

Raptors. Possibly the longest suffering of our surviving wildlife in the UK and when it comes to persecution of these species, you could say the UK has become something of an expert at turning a blind eye. Our shores are home to so many examples of raptor persecution that we would be spoilt for choice for incidents to discuss. In this case however, we are talking of a very particular incident. One that screams the serious neglect of our raptors. So, where in the UK are we? Lancashire. The home of the Red Rose, Victoria Wood, Ian McKellen and, of course, The Forest of Bowland. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, covered in vast and diverse habitats including fells, valleys and peat moorland, a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds of prey, and a haven for some of our most spectacular raptor species, including the Hen Harrier and the Peregrine Falcon! Or at least, it should. Over recent years however, a black cloud has descended over The Forest of Bowland. A black cloud that has brought with it the wide-scale, relentless persecution of birds of prey. The situation has now become so serious in Bowland that the region is what some people (the term originating with gamekeepers) call a ‘Raptor Free Zone’. The fact that such a ‘zone’ should exist in an area where these beautiful birds are native is not only a tragedy, but a total and utter embarrassment to our nation.

Continue reading Guest blog – Bowland: crimes against nature by Eleanor Upstill-Goddard.

The end of Langholm part 2. Will there ever be a part 3?

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 The end of August 2017 sees the end of a 10 year programme to make Langholm moor a biodiverse area along with Red Grouse shooting. Red Grouse shooting never took place as the bar was set too high. Red Grouse shooting could have taken place but there was a large element against it as it would mean that Birds of Prey would have won!There was so much going for Langholm under the right management but again little effort was made to bring the wider public to the moor to see the fascinating life of so many species. Even this year the sheer number of Hen Harriers and Merlin watched by the road side with no proper parking space [single track road with passing places!] was just one of the many complaints of the £3.5 million of taxpayers money being misspent.

Continue reading The end of Langholm part 2. Will there ever be a part 3?

DEFRA & Scottish Government policy teams investigating changes to trap legislation.

Fen TrapYou will most likely not aware that there are changes on the horizon for the use of Fenn traps in the UK because they  are no longer considered humane for use on some fur-bearing species. The details in brief can be viewed on the attached Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust website.

The user of these traps have until July 2018 for all stoat traps to be compliant with AIHTS. After this date Fenn-type traps may still be used to take rats and other approved species; but it will not be a defence to claim the trap was set to catch a rat/weasel/squirrel. Undoubtedly this will result in interesting scenarios, because how would a trap differentiate between a legally trapped target or a illegally trapped target? Lets look at it another way, poisons used to kill protected raptors was banned many years ago, but are still being used with great efficiency to kill raptors today. How we might ask, once a compliant trap is certified for use to trap a specific animal, who will be on hand to make sure traps are being used legally?

https://www.gwct.org.uk/scotland/advice/changing-trap-legislation/

Deven Police appeal for witnesses after male Peregrine found poisoned

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Deven Police Officers are investigating an incident after being contacted by staff at Glendinning Quarry in Ashburton, Devon, on Tuesday 15 August, following reports of an injured Peregrine Falcon. The falcon had been located on the floor of the quarry which is home to a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons.

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The beauty of vultures, the extremely important ecosystem services they provide, and the danger of veterinary diclofenac – on tv

Vulture-Web

Continue reading The beauty of vultures, the extremely important ecosystem services they provide, and the danger of veterinary diclofenac – on tv

Protesters in their thousands descend on Westminster today calling for end to grouse shooting on Inglorious Twelfth

Ashamed and very angry citizens from across our country gathered in front of Westminster in their thousands (today 12th August 2017) to voice their concerns at the killing of wildlife, including Hen Harriers on red grouse moorland. The Tory Government should be totally ashamed at the blatant disregard for our wildlife. The killing must stop, the British public are now beginning to awaken and will continue to voice their anger until the Government listens to our words.

Continue reading Protesters in their thousands descend on Westminster today calling for end to grouse shooting on Inglorious Twelfth