Monday, 23 December 2013

Yet another Golden Eagle found poisoned on a Scottish grouse moor

A satellite-tagged Golden Eagle lies dead, poisoned on a grouse moor (RSPB Investigations)
Despite assurances from the authorities that the killing of Golden Eagles and other raptors in Scotland is being dealt with, yet another eagle has been found poisoned on an estate managed for grouse shooting. And once again it is in the Angus hills where many other birds have been found killed in recent years.

This bird was satellite-tagged while a fledgling in 2011 in Perthshire, from where it moved to Badenoch and lived freely. However it fatally moved to Angus and died from ingesting poison, probably by eating laced bait deliberately laid out to kill raptors. Roy Dennis of Highland Foundation for Wildlife, who was tracking the bird became aware that the bird had not moved for several days, so alerted the RSPB, whose investigation officers and police found the bird dead at the spot marked by the satellite tag's coordinates. Subsequent analysis showed that the bird had died of poisoning by carbofuran. The bird's movements throughout its short life can be viewed by clicking the link below to the HF for W website.

Will this killing ever be stopped? (RSPB Investigations)

The movement of this bird clearly shows how if such a bird is killed on any estate it is not only the local birds which are killed but those from the national population. As the birds are killed, they leave a gap in the habitat, an empty territory which attracts other birds. These are subsequently killed too and so on. How many of the Scottish Population of Golden Eagles are killed per annum. In the Angus hills alone, in the past five years there have been four other Golden Eagles killed by shooting, poison or trapping, as well as seven Common Buzzards and a Red Kite. And a White-tailed Sea-eagle nest tree was felled. These are only the incidents which have been found and reported, how many more go undetected. Regardless of emotions, this behaviour is illegal and should be dealt with. This is a sad refection on the care Scotland shows for what is regarded by the people as its national bird, surely this time, is THE TIME for the government to be seen to rectify this abuse of our widlife.

I ask all my international as well as Scottish readers to write to the Scottish Minister for Environment and let him know how the lack of prosecutions and effective legislation for the protection of raptors in Scotland looks in the world's eyes. His address is Mr Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change.

And please forward this page to anyone you know you may be interested.

Thank you.

Fearnan, the eagle which was killed as he was when a nestling (Keith Brockie)

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