Golden eagle poisoned in Lochaber

A golden eagle is poisoned with banned pesticides in Lochaber and the police/RSPB wait for three months before appealing for information. What’s the point? Can anyone explain the purpose of this delay? Even the Scotsman comments on it (here). Can anyone think of another type of crime where these reporting delays are common?

RSPB press release here

Please note: this dead golden eagle is not the same dead golden eagle we reported on the 18 June (see here). We’re still waiting for an official press release about that one. But anyway, that’s two known illegally-killed golden eagles reported in the space of 10 days, and we understand that at least two others have been ‘missing’ since May, according to their sat tag data. Looks like we’re going to have to update our dead eagle page (here).

12 thoughts on “Golden eagle poisoned in Lochaber”

  1. It seems to me that there is a drastic need for someone to independently examine the component management / communication / analytical stages of the processes associated with these incidents. Three months to gain confirmation of results? What do they expect to gain from a request to the public which is so dated and, to be fair, couldn’t its veracity then be challenged? It would be helpful if the reasons for the delay were explained in cases like this. There may be legitimate reasons, but it’s difficult not to suspect bureaucracy and priority creep in as well!!

    1. We have seen these poisoning events unfold this way so often that they cannot be attributed to stupidity on the part of those investigating. Nor is it acceptable that any part of the investigation should cause the initial announcement to be delayed.
      How many dead eagles are found that died of natural causes ?

      I fail to see what prevents an immediate announcement saying that a dead eagle has been found and the cause is unknown, but is being treated as suspicious. etc.

      If the police or anyone else try to claim that announcements are delayed to avoid alerting the perpetrator whilst investigations take place then that has to be a nonsense. If that is happening then, given zero prosecutions, it is a total failure.

  2. Can anyone in Scotland tell me how we go about finding a police spkesman who can be requested to provide the answers to these queries? Who is the current Head Police Wildlife Liaison Officer for this region?

  3. I wonder who will be blamed for this incident!? Not a lot of Grousekeepers or Grouse moors in Lochaber! After all attacking and haranguing Shepherds and Farmers just doesnt carry the same appeal on political clout for some the blatent anti-keeper mentality of some of this blogs members!

    1. Not a lot of Grouse moors in Lochaber? We are talking about the Scottish Lochaber here I presume – if so it’s not the Lochaber area I’ve tramped over so many times. And met so many surly gamekeepers/stalkers withall. So who else is poisioning wildlife – hillwalkers? picnicers? tourists? campers? fishermen? The simple fact of the matter is that the clue is in the name of the occupation. It may very well be the case that some shepherds or farmers are also involved in these crimes and they won’t be immune from prosecution if caught either! Haranguing gamekeepers is not what it’s about – highlighting illegal, anti-social, and downright offensive stupid behaviour is the object.
      When I’m out and about on the hills I don’t care one iota whether it’s a “sporting” (aka killing animals for fun – perhaps we can get away from this polite euphemism) estate or not – what I do care about is who’s responsible – gamekeeper, stalker, shepherd, farmer, estate worker, forester or uncle Tom Cobbley and all. I’m also a bit concerned that local police are sometimes too involved with the local community to be objective in matters of this sort.

  4. PC Charlie Everitt of the National Wildlife Crime Unit added: “The poisoning of this Golden eagle demonstrates how indiscriminate this practice is and flies in the face of the steady work currently being undertaken by the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime. All raptor poisoning cases will continue to be fully investigated.”

    Since the NWCU came into being not a single person has been convicted of killing a golden eagle.

    PC Everitt,s statement is complete nonesense, easily seen through and frankly insulting. Police and NWCU continue to fail to investagate wildlife crime properly, particular any issue involving a sporting estate.

    Someone needs to consider pulling the funding that NWCU receive and channeling it into effective enforcement. NWCU continues to distance and marginalise NGO,s whilst publicly pretending to partnershipwork!!

    Surely their funding could be spent better elsewhere?

  5. I am not questioning the presence of Gamekeepers/Stalkers in Lochaber I am fully aware of how many there are what I am questioning is why they would kill an eagle as the sporting interest in this area is almost exclusively deer stalking? There is a significant number of successful raptor nests in this area every year including Golden eagles, Sea eagles and Peregrines. This in conjunction with a high hooded/carrion crow poplulation surely shows there is very little emphisis put on game bird management in much of the county?

    1. I was up Strathfarar to Monar a few weeks ago and was appalled by the state of the land management. The place is chronically over grazed by deer (I have never seen such a high level of winter feeding anywhere!). The place should be an amazing pine forest but it is terribly abused. I’m affraid to say that grouseman is probably correct…there is not enough heather to feed a beetle never mind a grouse. But with such a low standard of land management, you would believe anything of those involved in the running of the estate. Maybe the eagles have been taking deer?

  6. Grouseman,

    “sporting interest in this area is almost exclusively deer stalking”

    Trying to muddy the waters and turn this into some kind of conspiracy theory doesnt wash. This case is does not require a great deal of effort to work out who is responsible

    look back on this blog and RSPB & SASA, s annual report to see who is using routinely and almost exclusively using banned pesticides.

    banned pesticide +dead raptor = gamekeepers!

    Note i also used “almost” exclusively.

    It doesn’t really make any difference as to what type of game is involved… grouse, pheasant, partridge or even the highly improbable possibility of deer.

    The real point is is, yet another eagle has been unlawfully killed by a common act of criminality, in all probability by persons employed by an industry that continues to destroy Scotland’s iconic wildlife with impunity.

    So how do we improve things?

    Like all other anti social crimes.(drink driving, domestic violence etc) effective enforcement and realistic penalties at court.

  7. Well – I glad somebody mentioned eagles taking deer, after all, they kill horses don’t they? As to the over population of deer in Lochaber – do what seems to be the norm – hand feed them all winter, then drive up a bulldozed hill road in a Landrover and shoot ’em out of the window. Helicopters next I guess to cut down that bumpy ride. Prince Albert must be spinning right now.
    I should add my experience in Lochaber (see previous) was confined to the southerly reaches of that area.


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