Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee – Scotland

Moorland Gamekeepers using strategies preventing raptors from settling to breed.

In his latest video Terry Pickford highlights two effective but legal management strategies introduced on grouse moor estates in northern England designed to unsettle peregrines and hen harriers, preventing these species from settling to breed on moorland where red grouse are shot.

 

 

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Red Kites drawn to the guns.

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The RSPB have issued a history of persecution of Red Kites in Yorkshire – see link below

https://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/investigations/archive/2017/04/07/red-kite-shot-bedfordshire-yorkshire-dales.aspx

But no where have the RSPB added the reasons for such killings. The Red Kite is a well known bird for taking carrion but they have learnt [to their cost!] that if they hear gun shots that carrion may well be available. This behaviour is well known to Doug Simpson who ran the successful Red Kite reintroduction in Yorkshire at the Harewood Estate. We phoned  Doug to discuss a bird drawn to the guns at Geltsdale in the north Pennines where a partridge shoot was taking place.

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Spectacular aerial duel between bearded vultures in the French Alps results in the death of one of them

Continue reading Spectacular aerial duel between bearded vultures in the French Alps results in the death of one of them

Forest of Bowland: What will the new season deliver?

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The last three breeding seasons for Bowland’s apex raptors such as peregrine and hen harrier have been appalling, failing completely to deliver any increase in breeding productivity for both species throughout the Bowland fells in west Lancashire. In 2014 Sky and Hope two satellite tagged hen harrier chicks disappeared after migrating away from their natal territories on moorland owned by United Utilities  on to two adjoining shooting estates where their satellite transmitters suddenly and inexplicably stopped sending data. Both harrier were presumed to have been shot after an exhaustive search undertaken by the RSPB failed to locate the satellite tags or two the missing hen harriers. In 2015 four adult Bowland male hen harriers vanished into thin air after leaving their respective incubating mates to forage for food again lost on nearby shooting estates. Unable to feed themselves the four female hen harriers subsequently abandoning their nests located on the United Utilities estate in order to feed themselves leaving an estimated 25 eggs to go cold.

Last season (2016) there were no nesting hen harriers recorded anywhere in the Forest of Bowland, or on any English grouse moor. As far as we are aware the only male hen harrier in the Forest of Bowland recorded skydancing in 2016 was the one seen above the Langden Valley by members of the North West Raptor Protection Group on 2nd April, however this bird was not seen alive on any of the four subsequent days when the area was revisited. We are informed peregrines did not do much better with only a single recorded successful nest last season.

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One of the four male hen harriers that disappeared in 2015 from moorland in Bowland owned by United Utilities. This image captured by Michael Wright was the last image ever captured of this harrier before it disappeared.

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Red Kite shot in Hertfordshire, police appeal for information

Press Release

APPEAL FOR INFORMATION ABOUT SHOOTING OF RED KITE

Red Kite Flying

Hertfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a wounded bird of prey was taken to a vet in Buntingford.

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Hen Harrier Day Dunsop Bridge in the Heart of the Forest of Bowland. Sunday 6th August.

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On behalf of the North West Raptor Group we are announcing this years venue of the groups fourth Hen Harrier Day, on the Green from 10.30 at Dunsop Bridge, in the heart of the scenic Forest of Bowland. Please Share this important information.

This year speakers include the Former RSPB Ecologist Brian Etheridge, Luke Steele and Natalie Bennett and last but not least Nick Miles (Jimmy from Emmerdale).

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Hen Harrier Day, Forest of Bowland, Dunsop Bridge. Sunday 6 August 2017

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On behalf of the North West Raptor Group we are announcing this years venue of the groups fourth Hen Harrier Day, on the Green from 10.30 at Dunsop Bridge, in the heart of the scenic Forest of Bowland. Please Share this important information.

Continue reading Hen Harrier Day, Forest of Bowland, Dunsop Bridge. Sunday 6 August 2017

A poacher kills the last black vulture in Alinyà, Spain

Photos of Trasgu before (up) and after (down) the incident © Boumort-Alinyà Working Team

Photos of Trasgu before (up) and after (down) the incident © Boumort-Alinyà Working Team
In November 2016, the last Black vulture settled in the region of Alinyà (Spanish Pyrenees) flew over his territory for the last time. His name was Trasgu, a 6-years-old male that was transferred from a rehabilitation center to the Pyrenees in 2013 and released there as part of the project to reintroduce the species in the Pyrenees (Alinyà and Boumort). That month he was found dead at Alinyà, and the necropsy done at the Wildlife Centre of Vallcalent confirmed the worst fears: Trasgu had been shot dead, in the same area that has seen two other black vultures disappear for the same reason (Orri, that was killed and Alinyà that had to be taken into captivity). The news were kept in secret so that an investigation could start, and were only made public recently – even in the heart of the EU, where species conservation is well understood and supported, the reckless actions of a rogue individual destroyed the efforts and investment of years of work and effort.

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Rare capture of double Peregrine copulation

This rare peregrine behaviour shows a pair of urban peregrines doing what comes naturally. You are now unlikely to ever witness this behaviour on moorland in northern England where red grouse are shot because of wide scale illegal persecution of this species.

If like us you care about stopping the ongoing killing of the peregrine by gamekeepers of red grouse moorland, please consider making a small donation to our GoFundMe campaign below, the aim of which is to bring back the Peregrine to Bowland where it truly belongs.

Prior to 2009 there were 18 regularly occupied Peregrine territories located in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, as of this spring there are only two known nesting territories occupied, this appalling situation is a national disgrace.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-the-peregrine-falcons