New story – Is Britain being bribed by the poison companies: Watch the video

poisonWe are looking at results from Israel where natural predators are stopping the use of poison in farm crops and buildings which has been studied for over 15 years.
So why are there no similar schemes in Britain? Instead our wildlife is slowly being poisoned by secondary poisoning! Watch this pioneering video and make up your own mind.

 

Preparations underway for the first ever release of Bearded vultures in Western French Pre-Alps

The Baronnies mountains are the westernmost extremity of the French Pre-Alps – and so a strategically important site for the establishment of a corridor for bearded vultures between the Alps (where the species has been reintroduced), the Grands Causses-Massif Central (where there is also a reintroduction project) and the Pyrenean populations.

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A Bearded Vulture (Gerlinde) together with a Black Vulture in Baronnies in the French Alps

Continue reading Preparations underway for the first ever release of Bearded vultures in Western French Pre-Alps

Are wildlife able to efficiently clean up animal ‘After Birth’ saving the tax-payer millions of £’s

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Several years ago Raptor Politics was contacted by a resident from the South Cumbrian town of Ulverston, informing us he and his wife had witnessed on several occasions up to 7 Red Kites feeding together in a local farmers field on sheep ‘after-birth’ deposited all over the field after the Ewes had given birth. Isn’t this what the Red Kite are historically famous for, indeed there are very old records from the 16 th Century of Kites cleaning up the rubbish deposited on the streets of London.

Once again shooting estates and farmers a requesting an ‘open season’ for the Raven which is one of the most common feeders of ‘after-birth’ in the uplands. This is because it is being claimed Ravens are predating lambs in the same field, but because there is no cost being put forward by Defra for the removal of up to 40,000,000 ‘after-birth’ each year, how can anyone justify killing the Raven and other wildlife which are undertaking this import job for free.

Continue reading Are wildlife able to efficiently clean up animal ‘After Birth’ saving the tax-payer millions of £’s

Is the Forest of Bowland about to become a possible Raptor Free Zone?

As far as I am aware prior to 2015 and 2016, the last year in which a single active Peregrine territory existed in the Forest of Bowland was 1974. The nest which had already been abandoned was discovered at the head of the Langden Valley by Paul Stott, a member of the North West Raptor Group. Paul had followed a set of fresh footprints crossing the snow covered landscape along the footpath leading him to the base of the nesting crag containing the abandoned nest, from where Paul recovered the single chilled egg. Paul also found 2  discarded cartridge cases which had been left in the snow by the stream edge, leading him to conclude one or both adult falcons had possibly been recently shot. Bowland’s sad history appears once again to have repeated itself this year, with only one known active Peregrine site recorded on estates owned by United Utilities. However, there is now serious doubt that any eggs contained in this nest will hatch after the territory was disturbed by an unidentified individual at the same time preventing the falcons from incubating their eggs for a minimum period of 2 hours, between 5pm and 7pm on Thursday evening 21st April. I have a strong suspicion the person observed entering and leaving the territory was licensed and had been sent to instal a surveillance camera to capture illegal human disturbance at the site, an irresponsible action under the circumstances, which may now result in the failure of the territory altogether after the eggs had almost certainly chilled.

Continue reading Is the Forest of Bowland about to become a possible Raptor Free Zone?

Peregrine photographed after receiving fatal wound from a shotgun as it returning to an active nest containing eggs

The unique image depicted  below was taken of a male peregrine falcon flying close to an active nest after it had been shot and possibly fatally injured in the northern Pennines today. The male in the image was the mate of a female known to be incubating a clutch of eggs at this nest situated adjacent to a red grouse moor. There is little doubt this peregrine, because of the gun shot wounds to the legs and abdomen (covered in blood) will possibly be dead by morning, or within the next 24 hours at the latest. The female sitting on the eggs will almost certainly desert her clutch of eggs to search for food, leaving her eggs to chill.

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Continue reading Peregrine photographed after receiving fatal wound from a shotgun as it returning to an active nest containing eggs

Irish Red Kite Project Soars to New Heights.

 Irish Red Kite Project Soars to New Heights –

more than 50 pairs now recorded in Ireland and over 150 young fledged between 2010 and 2015 as excitement builds for monitoring in 2016.

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Dr Marc Ruddock, red kite project manager on right

 The 2016 monitoring of red kites in Ireland is well underway with many birds nest building and laying eggs ready for a new breeding season. Over the winter each week more than 60 kites were recorded at the roost in Avoca and it seems timely to review the status of the population in 2015, with an increasing numbers of red kites recorded in Ireland.

Continue reading Irish Red Kite Project Soars to New Heights.

Dante’s Inferno, Saddleworth Moor set ablaze: Help us ban driven grouse shooting.

Dante’s Inferno Saddleworth Moor ablaze.

Do these images represent intensive habitat management?

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Ban driven grouse shooting

Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management

which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, relies on killing

Foxes, Stoats, Mountain Hares etc in large numbers and often leads to the

deliberate illegal killing of protected birds of prey including Hen Harriers.

Please Sign this petition.

31,720

Government responded

Defra is working with key interested parties to ensure the sustainable management of uplands, balancing environmental and economic benefits, which includes the role of sustainable grouse shooting.

At 100,000 signatures…

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Do you have a newsletter that would publish an article on driven grouse shooting before 20 September? Perhaps a Bird Club? A Natural History Society? A WI group? Whatever…

I’d be happy to provide something in order to spread the word.

What I need from you is:

  • a deadline
  • a word limit
  • information about the audience – how much are they likely to know already?
  • do you want images?

Of course I will be plugging our e-petition to get a debate on driven grouse shooting and I’m likely to mention the book of the e-petition too.

Contact me at mark@markavery.info and we can explore the possibilities.

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New paper vindicates VCF methods – release of captive-bred bearded vultures the best method to restore populations

Bearded Vulture 2The Vulture Conservation Foundation has been releasing captive-bred young bearded vultures in the Alps (since 1986) – and more recently in Andalusia (since 2006) and Grands-Causses/Massif Central (since 2010), with the aim to re-establish the species across European mountain ranges where it had disappeared. The bearded vulture is now firmly established in the Alps – this year 35+ pairs are breeding, while last year also marked the first breeding in the wild in Andalusia following extinction there in the mid-80s.

Continue reading New paper vindicates VCF methods – release of captive-bred bearded vultures the best method to restore populations

Should the Lynx be rewilded in the UK?

A captive breeding programme that has tripled numbers of lynx in Spain over the last 15 years may now be followed by the reintroduction of the lynx to the UK after an absence of more than 1,000 years.

While the return of a major predator worries farmers, the tufty-eared cat is proving a major hit with others in both Spain and Germany, writes Fergal MacErlean.

In 2002, things were looking bad for the Iberian lynx. Once widespread in Portugal, Spain and southern France there were fewer than 100 adults left – all in southern Spain – and only 25 breeding females.

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Continue reading Should the Lynx be rewilded in the UK?

Eagle Owl: Demon or Scapegoat? Sympathies divided for bird preparing to nest once more

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One of 3 Eagle Owl chicks, left to starve in a nest on the United Utilities Estates in the Forest of Bowland, after the breeding female vanished. 

A decade ago “The Eagle Owl Has Landed” made a sensational headline when it was revealed the world’s largest owl had built a nest in North Yorkshire.

However, any illegal egg collectors who may have found the news exciting stood no chance of getting near the breeding site unless they had been trained by the SAS. That’s because a pair of these 2ft-high owls – always a star attraction at displays of birds of prey – had taken up residence in a military exercise area to the west of Catterick Garrison.

Continue reading Eagle Owl: Demon or Scapegoat? Sympathies divided for bird preparing to nest once more