Ross link as ‘knife-edge’ wildcat population thrown £1m lotto lifeline

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BirdLife Malta denounces Government proposal to allow amnesty for illegal hunters

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BirdLife director Steve Micklewright addresses journalists outside MEPA’s Hexagon Building. Photo by Ella Beeson

BirdLife Malta in a statement yesterday (15-12-2014) strongly condemned a Government proposal to grant an amnesty to hunters with protected birds in their collection, “effectively seeing them pardoned for past acts of illegal killing.”

Continue reading BirdLife Malta denounces Government proposal to allow amnesty for illegal hunters

Christmas and New Year Greetings from the Raptor Politics Team.

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The whole team at Raptor Politics wish to extend our sincere thanks to all our followers, both here in the UK and abroad, for taking an interest in what we have to say about the plight of Britain’s birds of prey. Raptors throughout England’s northern uplands continue to experience terrible times, the result of their widespread persecution to protect red grouse stocks which are then shot for sport.

Continue reading Christmas and New Year Greetings from the Raptor Politics Team.

Defence advocate urged Scottish Sheriff not to allow video footage which could lead to the successful prosecution of Gamekeeper.

The RSPB Scotland is currently at the centre of a courtroom legal battle over secret filming on an Aberdeenshire estate without the landowner’s knowledge or permission. If the sheriff  rules the video as admissible the evidence could result in the successful prosecution of a gamekeeper. A Scottish sheriff has been urged to allow the use of covert video footage as evidence in the trial of a gamekeeper accused of killing or injuring protected birds of prey, including goshawks and buzzards.

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George Mutch found guilty today at Aberdeen Sheriff’s court of various wildlife offences. Mr Mutch has now had his membership of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association withdrawn.

Continue reading Defence advocate urged Scottish Sheriff not to allow video footage which could lead to the successful prosecution of Gamekeeper.

Tawny owl killed in woodland in Suffolk, two men arrested.

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Tawny owl

 Two men have been arrested in connection with a wildlife offence in Fakenham Magna. Police were called to an area of woodland in the village on Thursday December 4, to reports of the illegal trapping and killing of a tawny owl.

The men from the Thetford area, aged 35 and 36, were arrested on suspicion of committing a wildlife offence and also perverting the course of justice.

They were taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning, where they have been bailed to return to on Tuesday 6 January pending further enquiries.

Mass rally in Westminster a wake-up call to politicians on nature TODAY. Tuesday 9 Deecember

Nature and wildlife-lovers are heading to the Houses of Parliament today [Tues 9 Dec] to shake politicians out of the Westminster bubble and get them to take nature seriously. Hundreds of people from across the country are joining the Rally for Nature, which will see them march to Parliament and challenge MPs from all the major parties to make firm commitments for wildlife and the environment in their 2015 election manifestos.

Continue reading Mass rally in Westminster a wake-up call to politicians on nature TODAY. Tuesday 9 Deecember

New venue announced for Scotland’s Big Nature Festival 2015

After large amounts of flack from raptor workers and birders generally,  the RSPB have finally left the Hopetoun Estate locating their bird fair to a new venue in Southern Scotland next year. It is thought many more people will now choose to visit the new venue at the beautiful Levenhall Links alongside the Firth of Forth and famous racecourse at Musselburgh, just east of Edinburgh.

Hopetoun Estate http://www.hopetoun.co.uk/ are the owners of a Red Grouse moor in Dumfries and Galloway where a large number of birds of prey were alledgedly killed by the shooting syndicate renting the moor from the Hopetoun estate. The estate claimed it was not their doing and did little to change things on the moor. It just so happened the lease of the moor came up in 2014 and a new syndicate now runs the shoot. The future of birds of prey will be monitored this winter especially as there is a rare rough legged buzzard wintering on the moor.

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Buzzard found trapped on land owned by the Hopetoun Estate

Continue reading New venue announced for Scotland’s Big Nature Festival 2015

Colorado Hunter sentenced to prison for maiming & killing Utah Mountain Lions

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Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife Nicholaus Rodgers, left, Christopher Loncarich, Andie Loncarich, an unidentified hunter and Caitlin Loncarich sit with a mountain lion killed in Utah without a license, then illegally checked in Colorado. Loncarich was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years probation for conspiring to violate the Lacey Act, a federal law prohibiting the interstate transportation and sale of any wildlife taken in an illegal manner. He would trap the animals then hold or injure them to make them easy prey for high-paying clients.

Groups call for an end to ‘vilification’ of hen harrier in Ireland

Hen Harrier

 Two prominent environmental bodies in Ireland have called for an end to the “continuing vilification’’ of the protected hen harrier. Birdwatch Ireland and the Irish Raptor Study Group yesterday voiced concerns about growing negativity towards this bird of prey from certain farming sectors. Read the full account here.

Secret Plans to cull pine martens from woods are fiercely opposed

A leaked plan by Scotland’s hunting lobby to remove pine martens from ­­woodlands throughout the highlands has sparked fierce opposition from wildlife groups which suspect landowners of planning a cull to protect their lucrative grouse stocks.

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 The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), a charity funded by landowners, farmers and sporting interests, wants to launch a trial next year to trap and relocate pine martens, which are protected under law as an endangered species.