Here we go again…..the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland) has published the latest raptor persecution ‘hot-spot’ map based on the official poisoning figures from 2010. Surprise surprise, the number of confirmed poisonings in 2010 was higher than in 2009 and, once again, incidents were recorded throughout the length of mainland Scotland.
Once again, the map refers only to confirmed poisoning incidents – it does not indicate the locations where poisoned baits were discovered. Why not? It also does not indicate any other type of illegal raptor persecution incident such as shooting, trapping, beating, trampling, nest destruction, egg-stealing or other types of deliberate interference. Why not? It doesn’t name the estates where poisoned raptors were discovered. Why not? It doesn’t name the estates where poisoned baits were discovered. Why not? Same old, same old – these were the very questions we were asking this time last year and no doubt we’ll be asking them again next year when yet again, nothing has changed: https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/2009-map-of-shame-why-not-name-the-estates/
The Scottish Government said the latest maps (both the 2010 map and the cumulative 2006-2010 map) were put together based on SASA data, with input from the government, RSPB Scotland and the SRPBA. I wonder what the SRPBA’s contribution was? Perhaps they were looking over the shoulder of the map-designer and making sure the hotspots were edged an inch or two away from some of their members’ estate boundaries? Heaven forbid that the finger of suspicion should point toward an SRPBA member – they all love raptors and its just a very unhappy coincidence that the land they manage seems to be devoid of hen harriers and eagles and red kites and peregrines and goshawks….
In a statement, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “It’s disappointing to see that there has been no improvement in the number of birds of prey being deliberately and illegally poisoned in Scotland in the last twelve months. The fact that 132 of these iconic species have been targeted in the last five years is unacceptable.
It’s especially sad that some of the victims, such as sea eagles, are part of reintroduction programmes and there really has to be a change in attitude amongst those who are persistently involved in killing raptors.
We are taking measures to tackle this problem and have introduced a new vicarious liability offence as part of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill to make sure that those who direct or turn a blind eye to bird persecution can be held to account.
I also fully support the work of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group, which is looking at developing innovative ways to address this persistent problem.”
Ah yes, the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group, whose members include representatives from certain organisations who refuse to even accept that hen harrier persecution is an issue, let alone that any of their members could possibly be responsible. Does anybody with an ounce of intelligence really expect this group to ‘deliver’ anything other than bland sound bites about ‘partnership working’?
Meanwhile, back in the real world, reports are filtering through of the latest bird of prey poisoning incident in Scotland – more news on this when we can confirm the source.
Link to the PAW Scotland press release on the 2010 raptor poisoning maps: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/paw-scotland/news