1 year old sea eagle found poisoned on Glenogil Estate, Angus

White-tailed sea eagles were persecuted to extinction in Scotland in the early 1900s. An on-going reintroduction programme is helping their recovery in Scotland.

A one year old white-tailed sea eagle was found poisoned on Glenogil Estate in August 2009. The young bird, known as ‘Bird 89’, had been donated by Norway in 2008 as part of the East Coast Re-introduction Project. Glenogil Estate is owned by multi-millionaire businessman John Dodd, according to The Scotsman. Grouse management at Glenogil is undertaken in association with Mark Osborne, according to The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/22/wildlife.conservation

Bird 89 was found in a ‘decomposed’ state in August 2009. It is thought the eagle died much earlier than this, as its radio tracking signal stopped working in March 2009. According to some sources, the RSPB tracking team could not locate the dead bird for many months until they hired an expert tracker in August. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Sea-eagle-found-poisoned-.5995940.jp

The RSPB has accused Tayside Police of being incompetent, as the poisoning incident was not made public until January 2010, almost five months after the bird was found, and probably 10 months after the bird was actually killed. Further info: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/birdsofprey/RSPB-claims-police–less.6012566.jp

No arrests have been made.

According to The Scotsman, previous incidents of suspected wildlife crime on or close to Glenogil Estate include:

May 2006: Suspected rabbit poisoned bait found – tests by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture lab confirmed it had been laced with outlawed pesticide carbofuran.

June 2006: Bait found laced with carbofuran, also found on equipment and vehicles. Estate owner John Dodd subsequently had £107,000 withdrawn from his single farm payment subsidy by the Scottish Government. He is appealing against this. Further information available here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/22/wildlife.conservation

November 2007: Tayside Police informed a white-tailed eagle had been shot by a Glenogil estate employee. No carcase was found, but the bird, fitted with a radio transmitter, is still missing.

May 2008: A white-tailed sea eagle known as ‘White G’ was found dead by a neighbouring landowner. It had been poisoned with carbofuran and other pesticides.

Three days later, Tayside Police and RSPB staff found the carcass of a buzzard lying next to the Glenogil Estate boundary fence. It had been poisoned. Carcass of a hare was found to have been laced with same chemicals that killed eagle.

October 2008: A meat bait is found on a fence post within Glenogil Estate, laced with an illegal chemical mix.

March 2009: Two dead buzzards found on the estate. Both birds had been poisoned.

August 2009: White-tailed sea eagle ‘Bird 89’ found poisoned on Glenogil Estate.

Poisoned bait found on Raeshaw Estate, nr Peebles

Red kites, like buzzards, are easy targets for poisoners as their diet includes lots of carrion.

According to an article in The Guardian, poisoned bait was found on the Raeshaw Estate in the Moorfoot hills, near Peebles, in June 2009, during a police raid. The raid followed the discovery of a poisoned red kite on neighbouring land. Several injured dogs were found during the raid and were removed by the SSPCA, who suspected they had been used for badger baiting. Further information can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jun/15/police-raid-red-kite

In 2004, the bodies of nine raptors (5 barn owls, 2 buzzards, 1 kestrel & 1 tawny owl) were found dead on Raeshaw Estate (see here). Nobody was ever prosecuted.

Golden eagle (‘Alma’) found poisoned on Millden Estate, Angus

Here is 2-year old Alma, dead on a grouse moor after being poisoned. Her satellite tag is visible on her back. No arrests have been made for this wildlife crime.

A two-year old golden eagle named ‘Alma’ was found poisoned on the Millden Estate, nr Brechin, Angus, in July 2009. Alma was wearing a satellite tag fitted by Roy Dennis as part of a study to monitor golden eagle movements in Scotland.

According to The Guardian, the Millden Estate is managed by Nick Baikie, a grouse moor manager who is reported to have been previously employed by Mark Osborne, an Oxfordshire-based chartered surveyor. Grouse moors run by Osborne in Scotland and England have previously been raided by police investigating alleged wildlife crime offences. Milden is one of several sporting estates in Glen Esk. It is thought to be owned by multi-millionaire investment banker Richard Hanson, who bought it in 2004: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21868070_ITM

Police searched the Millden Estate, including the grouse moor and the gamekeepers’ cottages. No arrests have been made.

Further details can be found in an article written in the Guardian newspaper: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/30/conservation-scotland

buzzard found poisoned on Gledfield Estate, nr Ardgay, Sutherland

A buzzard was found posioned on the Gledfield Estate nr Ardgay in Sutherland on 24 July 2009. This is the third buzzard to be found poisoned on this shooting estate in the last 12 months.

The full story can be found on the BBC news website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8166855.stm

RSPB deliver petition to Scottish government

Congratulations to the RSPB for running a successful petition calling for an end to raptor persecution, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

On 2 March 2010, a petition containing almost 22,000 Scottish signatures was handed in to MSPs. Click this link to view the story on the BBC news website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8543983.stm

This follows hot on the heels of a UK-wide RSPB petition containing 210,567 signatures calling for an end to illegal raptor persecution that was handed in to MPs in London on Feb 3 2010. In addition to these personal signatures, 30 organisations also signed in support. Notably, the list did not include the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA).

Let’s hope the Scottish government accepts that this issue is important to thousands of people and keeps its recent pledges to make raptor persecution a priority issue.

Campaigners hold aloft a giant peregrine at the Scottish Parliament as the RSPB petition is handed to ministers.


This golden eagle was poisoned in the Scottish Borders in August 2007. No-one has been prosecuted.

Welcome to the new blog about raptor persecution in Scotland. We will be using this site to expose the persistent persecution of Scottish raptors (such as golden eagles, white-tailed eagles, red kites, hen harriers, buzzards, goshawks, peregrines, owls etc), and to monitor how each incident is handled by those responsible for preventing wildlife crime (e.g. police, courts, government). Although our focus is on raptor persecution in Scotland, we will also be documenting incidents in other parts of the UK and Ireland.

We started this blog to provide a central location for information on persecution incidents and subsequent prosecutions, as at present this information is difficult to find unless you know where to look (usually in several different places).

We hope to raise awareness about the shocking continuation of raptor persecution incidents in Scotland; a barbaric practice that has been going on for decades and now threatens the stability of several raptor populations. There is strong scientific evidence to demonstrate a clear link between raptor persecution and grouse moors (i.e. gamekeepers consider raptors to be ‘vermin’), and even though raptors are legally protected, the killing continues. We would like to emphasise that not all gamekeepers are guilty of wildlife crime – many are actively involved with raptor and other wildlife conservation projects in Scotland, but many are not.