The RSPB has today published its latest annual Birdcrime report (2014), documenting the confirmed, probable and unconfirmed incidents of crimes against wild birds in the UK, including crimes against birds of prey.
In 2014, the RSPB received 179 reports of the shooting and destruction of raptors, including the shooting of 23 buzzards, nine peregrines, three red kites and a hen harrier. Confirmed victims of poisonings included 23 red kites, nine buzzards and four peregrines. These victims represent the tip of the iceberg – many more will have gone undetected.
The National Wildlife Crime Unit says, ‘Intelligence continues to indicate a strong association between raptor persecution and grouse moor management‘.
Sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting HERE
Looking at the breakdown of incidents against birds of prey in 2014, the top five worst regions were:
North Yorkshire (36 incidents)
Highland Scotland (25 incidents)
Norfolk (19 incidents)
Derbyshire (16 incidents)
Northumberland (16 incidents)
The RSPB Investigations team deserves a huge amount of credit for their continued efforts to document these crimes and publish these annual reports. Without their meticulous work many of these cases would remain hidden from public view, which is what the raptor-killing criminals would prefer.
RSPB press release here
Download Birdcrime 2014 here: Birdcrime 2014