Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey

News for May 2015

Gas gun scarers deployed on Leadhills Estate
29th May 2015
Questions are being asked following the discovery of a number of gas gun scarers positioned on the grouse moors of Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire. It's unclear why these loud booming devices have been deployed at a critical stage of the bird-breeding season. Further details here.

Illegal tampering of traps not widespread, according to new report
28th May 2015
A year-long study led by BASC Scotland has revealed that the issue of tampering with traps is not as widespread as previously claimed. The Government-funded study was undertaken to assess claims by the game-shooting industry that illegal interference with legally-set traps was a common and increasing problem. However, the results show only 19 incidents were recorded and more than a third of them were alleged to have taken place on a single estate, suggesting that this may be a localised issue. Further details here.

Illegally trapped red kite has to be euthanized due to severity of injuries
20th May 2015
An illegally trapped red kite which was found in distress and seriously injured last week has had to be euthanized due to the severity of its injuries. The kite was discovered 'on moorland west of Stirling', believed to be the same area where a poisoned red kite and a poisoned peregrine have been found in the last 10 months. Serious questions are now being asked about the lack of enforcement measures being used in this area - see here.

Gamekeeper convicted of using illegal gin trap to catch buzzard on Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire
20th May 2015
A 50-year old gamekeeper, James O'Reilly, has been sentenced to 240 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to four wildlife crimes, including the use of a banned gin trap to catch buzzards on the Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire. Further details about these crimes can be read here and here. The SRSG is disappointed with such a lenient sentence for such a barbaric crime and looks forward to the publication of the government's recently completed wildlife crime penalties review.

SRSG joins forces with Mountaineering Council of Scotland to protect cliff-nesting raptors from accidental disturbance
16th May 2015
The Scottish Raptor Study Group is collaborating with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland to provide up-to-date information about cliff-nesting golden eagles and peregrines, to help protect them from accidental disturbance by rock climbers. More information here.

Heads up for Hen Harriers Project 2015
12th May 2015
The general public is being urged to report sightings of hen harriers across Scotland as the PAW Scotland project, Heads up for Hen Harriers, begins its third year. The project aims to 'better understand the threats facing Scotland's hen harriers', although the main cause (illegal persecution on driven grouse moors) is already widely understood and documented. The project will compliment the on-going work of the RSPB's Hen Harrier LIFE Project, which aims to use a combination of satellite-tagging, nest protection and investigations work to protect this species in northern England and southern and eastern Scotland. Further information about the Heads up for Hen Harriers Project can be found here.

Councillors approve Strathallan T in the Park plan
12th May 2015
Perth and Kinross council has approved plans for the controversial T in the Park festival to be held at Strathallan Castle. Concerns had previously been raised regarding the impact of the festival on local wildlife, particularly on the potential disturbance to specially protected breeding ospreys. The approved plan contains strict conditions designed to minimise disturbance to the birds, as put forward by RSPB Scotland. Further details here.


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