Scottish Bird of prey poisoning 'hot spot' map published

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Mar 15 14:59:54 GMT 2011

Duke of Westminster and other uber-landowners known to be some of the 
worse cuprits at this criminal activity

Bird of prey poisoning 'hot spot' map published
A 'hot spot' map of bird of prey poisonings has been published after 
it was announced that the number of raptors illegally killed 
increased again last year.
By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor 10:58AM GMT 15 Mar 2011
Unveiling the document, Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish environment 
minister said it was "unacceptable" 28 birds of prey were found 
poisoned in 2010 and 132 over the last five years.
She was particularly angry that a sea eagle, brought to Scotland as 
part of a reintroduction programme for the species, was killed last year.
Among the other birds found poisoned in 2010 were seven red kites and 
four golden eagles. The highest concentrations were in central 
southern Scotland, the South East and parts of the eastern Highlands.
Animal welfare groups branded the figures "very disappointing" but 
landowners insisted that good progress was being made through 
"collaboration and partnership".
The document was unveiled after MSPs recently passed new legislation 
that will make landowners criminally responsible for the actions of 
their gamekeepers.
Launching the map at the Doune Estate in Perthshire, Miss Cunningham 
said: ""It's disappointing to see that there has been no improvement 
in the number of birds of prey being deliberately and illegally 
poisoned in Scotland in the last twelve months.
"It's especially sad that some of the victims, such as sea eagles, 
are part of reintroduction programmes and there really has to be a 
change in attitude amongst those who are persistently involved in 
killing raptors."
Duncan Orr-Ewing, head of species and land management for RSPB 
Scotland, warned many other "victims" will have gone undetected and 
called on responsible landowners to contact the police.
"It is very disappointing to see that illegal poisoning continues at 
unacceptably high levels in our countryside," he added.
Doug McAdam, chief executive of the Scottish Rural Property and 
Business Association, which represents landowners, admitted the 
figures were "disappointing".
But he added: "The current situation demonstrates that collaboration 
and partnership are the way forward, not conflict and polarised views."
Two maps were produced yesterday by the Partnership for Action 
against Wildlife Crime (PAW), one for 2010 only and another showing 
the total number of bird poisonings between 2006 and last year.
The first shows there were 22 incidents of bird poisoning recorded 
last year involving 28 raptors. This is one more dead bird than was 
found poisoned in 2009 and 12 more than in 2008.
Of the total poisoned, 13 were buzzards, seven red kites, four golden 
eagles, two peregrine falcons, one sparrowhawk and one sea eagle.
Sixteen of the 22 incidents involved Carbofuran, an illegal chemical 
that ministers have warned is a threat to humans. Poisoned baits were 
recovered in eight cases.
The map does not show the precise locations where the birds were 
found, as they may have flown some distance after consuming the poison.
But almost half of the incidents (10) were recorded by Northern 
Constabulary, which covers the Highlands. Six cases were reported in 
the Tayside force area, three in Lothian and Borders, two in Dumfries 
and Galloway and one in Strathclyde.
Since 2006, there have been 103 poisonings reported of 132 birds. 
This total includes 82 buzzards, 28 red kites, nine golden eagles, 
seven peregrine falcons, two tawny owls, a sparrowhawk and three sea eagles.
Farmers have complained that sea eagles, which have been reintroduced 
from Norway, have attacked and snatched their livestock.

Related Articles
Sporting estate 'yellow cards' for bird poisoning 27 Jan 2011
Landowners facing prosecution for bird poisonings 04 Nov 2010
Scotland to get tough on bird of prey poisonings 24 Sep 2010
Ministers strike deal on golden eagle killings 20 Jul 2010
New batch of sea eagles arrive in Scotland 28 Jun 2010

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