Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey
Blue tits steal microphone cover at famous Osprey nest
29th March 2016
A microphone at one of Scotland's famous Osprey nests has had to be replaced after Blue tits pecked at the cover to use it as nest-lining material. The microphone, along with a nest camera, is part of a public education programme at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes Osprey site, allowing people to follow the breeding season activities of Ospreys Laddie and Lassie. A new microphone has now been installed. Full story here.
Mull Eagle Watch underway for 2016 breeding season
28th March 2016
'Mull Eagle Watch' is a partnership on the Isle of Mull designed to protect nesting golden and white-tailed eagles from potential egg-theives and disturbance from over-zealous photographers. The partnership includes members of the local community, RSPB, Police Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage and has been running successfully for many years. White-tailed eagles can be safely viewed on Mull from one of the special public viewing hides. More info about Mull Eagle Watch here.
Renewed hope for breeding White-tailed eagles on Orkney this year
23rd March 2016
Conservationists are hoping that a pair of White-tailed eagles on Orkney will produce the island's first chicks in nearly 150 years. The young, inexperienced pair had their first breeding attempt last year but their eggs were infertile. The pair is back again this year on the Hoy Nature Reserve and hopes are high that this year they'll succeed. Further info here.
Hen Harrier 'Lad' found dead on grouse moor in Cairngorms National Park - suspected shot
22nd March 2016
A young satellite-tagged hen harrier named 'Lad' has been found dead in suspicious circumstances on a grouse moor within the Cairngorms National Park. The post-mortem results suggest he had been shot. 'Lad' was part of the RSPB's Hen Harrier Life+ Project and was only a few months old when his corpse was discovered near Newtonmore. His death has prompted further calls for action against those who illegally target birds of prey. The Cairngorms National Park Authority has issued a statement condemning raptor persecution within the National Park and says it will work with partners to try and eradicate persecution and help raptor populations to recover in the area.
New paper: Environmental impacts of high-output driven shooting of red grouse.
21st March 2016
A new scientific paper, authored by RSPB scientists, has today been published in the peer-reviewed journal Ibis. It is a damning review of the environmental damage caused by the intensive management of driven grouse moors. The authors call for a 'fundamental shift in behaviours and practices' if grouse shooting is to contribute to upland conservation. The paper can be read in full here.
Lush stores raise £100k for Hen Harriers
15th March 2016
Over £100,000 has been raised for hen harrier conservation through sales of Lush’s hen harrier shaped bath bomb.The high street cosmetics store has donated all profits to the RSPB to help satellite tag as many hen harrier chicks as possible over the coming years. This is part of the RSPB’s Hen Harrier project they are running with support from the EU’s LIFE+ funding scheme. Futher details about this fantastic fundraising achievement here.
Mountain hares massacred in Cairngorms National Park
14th March 2016
Disturbing photographs have emerged of a severe mountain hare cull inside the Cairngorms National Park, despite SNH's call for voluntary restraint on this activity. Several articles have been written about this: here and here. The Cairngorms National Park Authority has issued a statement but this has been met with fierce criticism. The Scottish Raptor Study Group has grave concerns about the apparent unsustainabilty of mountain hare culling and last year was one of ten conservation organisations urging SNH to call for a three-year ban until hare populations can be suitably assessed. SNH refused to implement the ban.
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