Understanding Predation by Scotland’s Moorland Forum

We received a request from one of our followers over the weekend asking if we would publish details of the above proposal by Scotland’s Moorland Forum. The Moorland Forum has commissioned  a project titled ‘Understanding Predation’  to achieve a number of objectives by January 2016 which we have listed below: We have also added a link to the Forum’s web page explaining their objectives, methodology and conclusions below for anyone interested.

Hello Raptor Politics

I’m at the Scottish Bird Fair for Mull Eagle Watch this weekend and spoke to a person from the Scottish Moorland Forum. I shared something about it on facebook a while ago when I stumbled across the blog online. What I heard and read today made me even more concerned. Here are the key points of the “Understanding Predators” project that they have been running, much based on anecdotal evidence and opinion rather than science:

– How environmental and human factors may impact on wild bird species 
– How predator species may impact on wild bird species 
– Different techniques for managing predator-prey interactions. 
One thing I’ve noticed, a lot in other paper articles is the “wild birds” and predators aren’t classed as the same thing anymore! Only the prey species are ever mentioned as being wild birds, what do they think the predators are?
No one from a conservation background seems to have a clue about this project and it seems RSPB don’t want to tell anyone. So currently all the feedback and anecdotal evidence is from the keepers/farmers side.
Wondered if you would cover this on RP and keep up the good work you are doing?
Here is the link to the blog/website:


2 comments to Understanding Predation by Scotland’s Moorland Forum

  • David Le Mesurier

    Foxes are also predators but they are not wild birds, perhaps this is why they have no called the predators wild birds

  • Ian Whittaker

    I have commented on the Moorland Forum’s website along the lines of anecdotes make for bad science. The most worrying thing is the pushing of the line that declines of many of our bird species are the result of out of control populations of predators. This is often cited to justify promotion of predator control as a primary conservation tool when the truth is it should be a last resort as a conservation measure and its extensive use is only necessary to maintain unnaturally high numbers of gamebirds for shooting.

    The use of anecdotes will only exacerbate this situation and encourage the nonsense peddled by Ian Botham, You Forgot The Birds and Robin Page.