A new scientific, peer-reviewed paper, published in the journal British Birds, links the illegal killing of birds of prey with driven grouse moor management in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park.
Full citation: Melling, T., Thomas, M., Price, M. and Roos, S. (2018). Raptor persecution in the Peak District National Park. British Birds 111 (May): 275-290.
Unfortunately we’re not permitted to publish the full paper [UPDATE: paper now available at the foot of this blog] but here is the abstract and a number of the figures:
The RSPB has published a blog about this research which is well worth a read – here.
At the end of the RSPB blog, RSPB Investigator Mark Thomas writes: “It’s going to be interesting to see the response to our paper“.
The response will be the same one we’ve seen to every other scientific paper linking illegal raptor persecution to driven grouse moor management (and there have been many):
- Conservationists will be appalled (but not surprised);
- The grouse shooting industry will either (a) ignore it or (b) try to undermine the credibility of the authors and the science;
- The statutory authorities will either (a) ignore it or (b) they’ll acknowledge it and say raptor persecution ‘won’t be tolerated’ and then do nothing.
We still need to work on increasing public awareness about the illegal persecution of raptors on driven grouse moors and encourage more voters to apply pressure to their political representatives. Good progress has been made in the last few years but there is much, much more to do.
Scientific papers such as this latest one all help build the evidence, although if they sit behind a journal paywall they have limited value. Please help spread the word about this paper, especially on social media, and if you’re a resident of the Peak District National Park or if you live nearby and your MP’s constituency extends in to the Park, please send a copy of the paper’s abstract to them and ask that they contact Wildlife Minister Therese Coffey at DEFRA to demand she takes action.
In fact, even if you’re not a Peak District resident, this is a National Park that is there for all of us to enjoy, so please send a copy of this paper’s abstract to your local MP, wherever you live, and ask him/her to demand action from Minister Therese Coffey on your behalf.
The illegal killing of raptors on grouse moors in this National Park (and many others) has been going on for decades. It’s all documented. It will continue to go on unless we demand change. Please act.
UPDATE: Here is the paper in full: