Fearthers

“Sporting estates that do not have raptor persecution as part of their business model should have nothing to fear from a licencing regime designed to enforce existing law.” https://greens.scot/news/ruskell-welcomes-steps-towards-a-licensing-scheme-for-game-bird-hunting

If the campaign needs a theme tune, how about classic Blue Öyster Cult from 1976: Don’t Fear the Raptor.

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Eagle Eight

“These eight birds have all disappeared in an area where driven grouse moor management dominates the landscape, and where there have been many previous cases of illegal killing of protected raptors, including the poisoning of a golden eagle and a white-tailed eagle as recently as 2010.
Given the reliability of the transmitters, the chance of so many birds disappearing over such a short timescale without some kind of human interference is so small as to be negligible. The pattern we see here is consistent with the birds having been killed and the transmitters destroyed.” (http://www.rspb.org.uk/media/releases/423406-satellite-tagged-golden-eagles-disappearing-in-the-monadhliath-mountains)

“I have instructed officials to analyse the evidence from around 90 surviving and missing satellite-tagged eagles, to discover if there is a pattern of suspicious activity. … The public rightly expects all businesses in Scotland to obey the law. Let me be clear: grouse shooting is no exception.” (http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Eagle-disappearance-review-2881.aspx)

Let’s not leap to any conclusions: this could be the work of extreme conservationists, systematically bumping off birds of prey in the vicinity of grouse moors over decades in a bid to undermine the inglorious twelfth. Or alien abductions. Or spontaneous combustion.

If you’re cynical of the grouse shooting industry’s hand-wringing over these unfortunate but unconnected crimes, please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting in the UK and the petition to license gamebird shooting in Scotland – or read more about the case at Missing Hen Harriers: time for zero tolerance.

Small Mammals of Prey

“Landowners and shooting groups said it was too early to tell whether the voluntary arrangements under the action plan had failed.
They accuse the RSPB of ignoring other reasons for the hen harriers decline, such as weather and the activities of other predators, including voles.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/07/countryside-groups-split-over-hen-harrier-conservation-plan/)

Curses, the campaign targeting grouse shooters as responsible for the near-extinction of hen harriers is rumbled as the true culprits emerge: vegetarian, hedgerow-dwelling small mammals.

If this smells fishier than an osprey’s talons to you, please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting – or read more about the case at Missing Hen Harriers: time for zero tolerance.

Gone Harrier

“A lot of work went into establishing the six long-term actions which stakeholders and groups believed would help stabilize then, ultimately, increase population levels of these rare birds.” (https://basc.org.uk/blog/press-releases/latest-news/basc-disappointed-as-rspb-abandons-hen-harrier-programme/)

The grouse shooting community should be congratulated for the considerable effort they have invested in stabilising the hen harrier population level at zero.

Please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting. Or read more about the case at Missing Hen Harriers: time for zero tolerance.

Once, Twice, Grice

“The probability of 5 or more male Hen Harriers disappearing through ‘normal’ levels of mortality over a breeding period from 9 nests is 0.0033% … So there must be something pretty odd happening.” (http://markavery.info/2015/09/22/wondering2/)

Yes, that’s a 1 in over 30,000 chance. Pretty unlikely. Well done the grouse shooting industry for allowing us to experience such a rare event.

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting.

Bloody Lawful

“When carried out in accordance with the law, grouse shooting for sport is a legitimate activity … The Government’s position is that people should be free to undertake lawful activities should they wish to do so.” (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104441?reveal_response=yes)

This informative response is from the Assistant to the Secretary to the Director of the National Committee for Stating the Bleeding Obvious. I am grateful that government is not currently considering rescinding our right to undertake lawful activities.