Duncan Thomas calls on all members of BASC to make sure they “stand together” #NoMoorMyths

From those who ~ Massacre Mountain Hares & Exterminate Hen Harriers and Peregrines!

This is the former Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer for Lancashire, including the Forest of Bowland, Mr Duncan Thomas, defending the undefendable. Its no myth Duncan, Hen Harriers have been persecuted to almost extinction on the moorlands in northern England. Its no myth Duncan that this year there were no nesting hen harriers on any English grouse moor because of direct persecution by gamekeepers. See video at the bottom of this article.

Shooting Times Article written by Thomas when he was the Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer for Lancashire. A number of extracts added below from the article Thomas wrote.

This is what PC Thomas had to say about the Hen Harrier and gamekeepers in his article, at a point in time when the record showed there were no breeding Hen Harriers in England, let alone in the Forest of Bowland. “I would love to detail the many success stories and to name the gamekeepers and estates that constantly produce quality numbers of hen harriers and other sensitive species – my frustration is with the reluctance of so many to self-publicise and promote the quality work that goes on behind the scenes.” When asked to produce some tangible evidence backing up these claims, the officer has consistently remained silent.

Then PC Thomas went on to claim, “I fully understand their reasons, of course, but it’s a shame it goes unreported. There are many nests that never get into the public domain, because the last thing the estate needs is hoards of well-meaning individuals flooding the location or creating potentially disastrous levels of disturbance.” We would agree with the claim that the last thing estates need is hoards of well-meaning individuals flooding onto their shooting estates. However, its not because estates owners are concerned about potentially disastrous levels of disturbance to nesting raptors, it has more to do with individuals discovering illegal wildlife persecution taking place on these estates.

Here are yet more dubious claims made by Thomas relating to the Hen Harrier and Peregrine. Just where the former police officer found the evidence supporting these claims are beyond all logical reasoning. “We know female harriers will remove their own eggs from the nest and peregrines are known to take adult harriers – the range of natural predation reasons for a nest’s failure is never-ending.” Yes but Thomas conveniently choose to overlook the main reason for nest failures and the disappearance of so many breeding raptors on grouse moors – persecution. In addition the only record of a peregrine killing a Hen Harrier was one being flown by a falconer; in other words a trained falcon, not a wild one.

As far as we are aware there has so far not been one instance of a wild Peregrine falcon predating a Hen Harrier in the UK, of course we could be wrong.

Finally the meaning of the following statement made by Thomas is most significant.. “We do not create exclusion zones and accept life must go on around these locations.” In 2006 PC Thomas was requested by the North West Raptor Protection Group to ask Bowland gamekeepers to remove their traps they had installed in close proximity to, or within occupied Schedule 1 raptor nesting territories, a strategy to prevent breeding. The reason gamekeepers set traps so close to protected nest sites is all too obvious. When gamekeepers visit these traps each 24 hrs (a legal requirement), when sites are occupied the keeper causes reckless disturbance, resulting in many nesting raptors abandoning their nests. This practice in northern England, including in the Forest of Bowland, continues today unchallenged.

“.@DuncanBASC calls on all members to make sure they “stand together” #NoMoorMyths https://t.co/QITSimzJLP

4 comments to Duncan Thomas calls on all members of BASC to make sure they “stand together” #NoMoorMyths

  • Albert Ross

    “because the last thing the estate needs is hoards of well-meaning individuals flooding the location or creating potentially disastrous levels of disturbance.”
    The answer is there for all to see! Give them hoards (sic) flooding the location. But do it during the grouse shooting season! Spoil a days shooting and see how they like it.

  • I wonder if Mr Thomas can be persuaded to write a paper on his discovery of what seems to be a new subspecies: Schrödinger’s Hen Harrier.

  • Thorbjorn Odinsberg

    The only moorland myths are the crap that Thomas peddles on behalf of the criminals that run many of our grouse moors.

    Editor’s Comment. Oh how right you are, but the sad part we must never forget Thomas worked closely with the RSPB before he joined BASC. When Terry Pickford attempted to challenge Thomas on several occasions regarding his lies and arrogance, Terry Pickford’s warnings and concerns were simply dismissed or ignored completely. It’s a little late now to challenge or condemn Thomas because the damage to raptors inside the Forest of Bowland has been done.

  • paul williams

    And is being maintained…