Scottish Raptor Study Group

Monitoring and conserving Scotland's birds of prey

News September 2015

Over 100 red kite chicks fledge in Dumfries & Galloway
25th September 2015
A project to reintroduce red kites to Dumfries & Galloway has seen the number of chicks fledged break the 100 barrier for the first time. RSPB Scotland has confirmed 91 nesting pairs in the region with at least 112 chicks this year. The Galloway Reintroduction Project began in 2001 and brought red kites back to the area after an absence of 130 years. Further details on this year's record-breaking fledging success here.

SNH to investigate the lawfulness of deploying of gas gun scaring devices on grouse moors
13th September 2015
Following concerns raised about the deployment of gas gun bird scaring devices in Special Protected Areas and in proximity to protected raptor species such as hen harriers, SNH has committed to undertake an investigation in to the lawfulness of such activity. See here for further info.

Red kite dies after persecution incident 'near Tomatin'
10th September 2015
A police investigation has been launched after an injured red kite that was picked up in the Highlands has had to be put to sleep due to the extent of its injuries. The wounded kite was found 'near Tomatin' on 30th August and was taken in to care by the SSPCA. The police are refusing to reveal the nature of the bird's injuries but have said they don't appear to be the result of natural causes. More info here and here

Banned poisons handed in during Scottish Government's 'amnesty'
9th September 2015
Large quantities of banned poisons have been handed in for disposal following a three-month 'amnesty' scheme organised by the Scottish Government. It has been illegal to even possess some of the listed poisons for ten years, although stocks have obviously still been held (illegally) as these poisons are frequently still used in raptor poisoning crimes across the country. The poisons handed in (anonymously) include the deadly Carbofuran, Aldicarb, Strychnine and Mevinphos. It is hoped that if any further raptor poisoning crimes now take place, or if further stocks of the banned poisons are uncovered, then the punishment for those involved will be severe.

Gamekeeper William Dick fined £2,000 for attacking and killing a buzzard on Newlands Estate, Dumfriesshire
2nd September 2015
Gamekeeper William Dick was fined £2000 today at Dumfries Sheriff Court after being found guilty of killing a bird of prey. Mr Dick lodged an alibi defence that he had been in attendance at a training course over 100 miles away and would have been on his way home at the time of the offence. Mr Dick was, however, convicted on 4 August 2015 of killing and having in his possession a buzzard on the Newlands Estate, Kirkmahoe, Dumfries in April 2014.

Two walkers came across Dick with a large bird at his feet. The bird was hopping around in what was described as an unnatural manner. Dick was then seen throwing large rocks from above his head down at the bird and repeatedly stamping on it. They saw him placing a bundle wrapped in his jacket into his car, a dark grey coloured 4x4 pick-up truck before driving off. Further details available here


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