Natural England and the sterilisation of Britain!

GoshawkMany people know about the attempt by Natural England to monitor the deaths of Hen Harriers by satellite tagging but few know about their indirect attempt to make specific birds of prey together with other wild animals sterile in England!
We have all seen Natural England issuing licenses allowing Buzzards to be killed around pheasant pens for no valid reason, especially as alternatives were offered to them by Raptor Politics with the excuses that there are no trees in USA!! ‘The scheme would not work here in the UK’ when talking about the ‘electric pole shocker’. Yes they took the advice of the gamekeepers who claimed the American scheme would not work here in Britain as trees are located around the pheasant release pens!! This assumes there were no trees in the USA where the scheme to deter raptor from predating game birds near release pens worked very well!!
The American scheme also pointed out to any user ‘not to kill the pair of resident raptor, as this would lead to replacement birds coming in to fill the void causing even more trouble to the pheasant pen’. Oh Yes. What is Natural England encouraging? Killing the resident pairs!! 

So you think that was bad?
Over £1 million of taxpayers money will now fund s scheme to sterilise  Grey Squirrels.

This in turn would also affect other mammals and birds of prey in the British Countryside. I say British because we know both mammals and birds have no boundaries and will migrate into areas like Wales and Scotland. Natural England staff have been seconded to make this work with extra finance coming from the private sector or so they hope!
Again the alternatives have been shown to work but Natural England are bowing to the pressure of guess who?
THE BIG SHOOTING ESTATES– Yes the people who are so law abiding claiming they make our countryside so beautiful and a haven for wildlife, including many birds of prey.
Goshawk-predating-grey-web
Goshawk feeding upon a Grey Squirrel

What they don’t want are Pine Martens and Goshawks, two species with an established habit of predating the Grey Squirrel for free, and even better removing any diseased mammal, especially when it is the Red Squirrel? The Red Squirrel suffering is from ‘Squirrel Pox’ often caused by those ‘Squirrel Lovers’ who do not effectively clean their feeders, which  helps to spread the disease encouraging Greys to feed alongside Reds.
pine-martin
One area in England recently received £1.2 million of taxpayers money to encourage conservationists to learn how to kill Grey Squirrels claiming this was the way forward. Well soon they will not have to kill them as sterile squirrels will not breed but they still will fall prey to predators. So when Goshawks eat large numbers of Grey Squirrels [with camera traps showing the Goshawk bringing 75% – 95% Grey Squirrel to the nest to feed their young] how long before they are sterile?

Red Kite in nest
Red Kites will bring Grey Squirrels picked up as a roadkill into their nests to feed their young, contaminated with a contraception or not. 
More and more Grey Squirrel are being found dead on our roads, so enter Red Kites and Buzzards not to mention all our corvids which then feed on road kills including Grey Squirrels . Other mammals which are being looked at for sterilisation include deer, rabbits and wild boar which can also become carrion on many roads causing the same effect to those carrion feeders. The water supplied to households and businesses in London after treatment has been drunk so many times is now reducing the fertility of those poor people ‘down south,’ so where is the sterilisation of wildlife going to end?
I should end with a positive note! – Grey Squirrels as well as Rabbits, Deer and Wild Boar are often eaten by game keepers so if they become sterile as a consequence of consuming contaminated meat should we be concerned?

1 comment to Natural England and the sterilisation of Britain!

  • Albert Ross

    Come on Mr Editor.
    This is a bit far fetched by any standards.
    Goshawks and other predators survived for 10,000 years before some idiot introduced Grey Squirrels (aka Tree Rats)into Great Britain.
    You should be applauding each and every effort to eliminate them.
    There is growing evidence that where Greys are ‘taken out’ the Reds make a comeback. No doubt a similar benefit is found in the nesting success of birds that are prey to Grey Squirrels.
    It is the Grey Squirrel that introduces “Squirrel Pox” and passes it on to the Red Squirrel that has not developed the immunity to the disease that the Grey brought with it.
    So let us see what success and spin off benefits attempts to eliminate the American Tree Rat have before condemning these proposals. Goshawks and Pine Martens will soon switch to other prey as they did before the poxy Grey Squirrel arrived on your shores.