Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey

News for February 2015

Illegal pesticides removal
23rd February 2015
The Scottish Government has launched a free scheme to collect and dispose of illegal pesticides in an effort to rid these poisons from the countryside. The scheme will allow those still in possession of these dangerously toxic poisons to dispose of them safely and confidentially. The poisons covered by the scheme include Carbofuran, one of the most frequently-used poisons in raptor persecution crimes. It has been an offence to be in possession of this poison since 2005. Scottish Government press release here and further details of the scheme here.

Police raid Stirlingshire sporting estate following discovery of a poisoned peregrine
22nd February 2015
Police have raided an un-named Stirlingshire sporting estate following the discovery of a dead peregrine that had been poisoned with the banned pesticide Carbofuran. A dead red kite, also poisoned with Carbofuran, was discovered on the same estate in July 2014. A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "It is evident that an on-going and intentional effort to poison wildlife is occurring at this location and we will be working closely with the relevant partners and using all investigative techniques at our disposal to identify the offender(s) and bring them to justice". Further details here

New reports published on wildlife crime enforcement in Scotland
20th February 2015
Two new reports have been published today outlining the on-going concerns of environmental NGOs about wildlife crime enforcement measures in Scotland. The reports are published by Scottish Environment LINK, an umbrella organisation representing over 30 wildlife and environmental charities across Scotland, including the Scottish Raptor Study Group. The first report includes a detailed examination of the wildlife crime enforcement process, including the views of those within the NGO sector who are directly involved with reporting wildlife crimes and who perceive many failures within the system. The second report includes a list of 20 recommendations for the Government to consider. Both reports can be read here.

£1,000 reward for information leading to conviction of masked gunmen seen attacking goshawk nest site in Cairngorms National Park
17th February 2015
RSPB Scotland is offering a £1,000 reward for information which leads to the conviction of masked gunmen who were secretly filmed shooting at a goshawk nest site in May last year. The video camera had been installed on Forestry Commission ground to monitor the progress of a goshawk nest in the Cairngorms National Park. Goshawks are one of the most heavily-persecuted raptors in the UK and their populations are severely constrained as a result. Full details of this crime here.

Fourth national golden eagle survey begins
12th February 2015
Members of the Scottish Raptor Study Group are participating in the fourth national golden eagle survey this year. Each year we regularly monitor approximately half of the Scottish golden eagle population, but every decade or so, we partner with other licensed raptor workers to try and cover the majority of eagle sites in a large, national survey. The results of these surveys allow us to assess long-term population trends and to identify particular problems or regional issues that may need closer monitoring. The results of the latest national survey are expected to be published after the breeding season and will be compared with the results of the last national survey which took place in 2003. Further details about this year's national survey here.

'Evicted' sea eagle turns up in Dumfries & Galloway
6th February 2015
A young white-tailed eagle who was pushed from her nest by an intruding eagle last summer has turned up in Dumfries & Galloway. Her nest 'eviction' had been captured on a nest camera on the Isle of Mull last June and she had fallen 30ft to the ground. Climbers from the Forestry Commission managed to return her safely to her nest. She has recently been sighted in Wigtownshire and was identified by her leg rings. As young sea eagles wander widely during their first few years, she is not expected to stay in D&G. Full story here.


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