Satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle found poisoned on grouse moor in Cairngorms National Park

A satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle has been found poisoned on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park.

This should be the tipping point. The Scottish Government simply cannot ignore this blatant criminality any longer. There are contact details at the foot of this blog if you want to write to the First Minister and her Environment Cabinet Secretary.

We’ll have much, much more to say about this latest crime but for now, here’s the press release just issued by Police Scotland:


Police Scotland has today confirmed that a rare white-tailed sea eagle found dead earlier this year was poisoned.

The bird of prey was recovered from Donside, Aberdeenshire, in April. A post mortem has now established it died as a result of pesticide poisoning. It had been satellite tagged.

The death is being treated as suspicious. An investigation is ongoing and Police Scotland is appealing for information to help identify those responsible.

[A police officer examines the corpse of this illegally-poisoned sea eagle, found on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park]

White-tailed sea eagles were re-introduced into Scotland in the 1970s after becoming extinct in the UK in the early 1900s. There are now over 150 breeding pairs in Scotland. Police Inspector Sheila McDerment, who chairs the North East Partnership Against Wildlife Crime, said:

As well as being illegal, poisoning is a cruel way to kill a bird. It also puts the lives of other creatures and plants at risk and impacts negatively on our environment.

This incident is particularly upsetting because these rare and beautiful birds had been re-introduced to Scotland after being extinct throughout the UK.

Raptor persecution is one of six priorities set by the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit. In the North East we work closely with a number of partners to tackle wildlife crime. Members of the public are our eyes and ears. I appeal to anyone out there who may hold any information about this incident to help us bring the offender to justice by coming forward and telling us what they know.”

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s Head of Investigations said: “The news that this bird has been illegally poisoned is appalling. This crime would never have come to light had the bird not been fitted with a satellite tag, and the killing of this young eagle can be added to a litany of raptor persecution incidents in recent years, including previous poisonings and multiple disappearances of similarly-tagged birds of prey. Poisoning is vicious and indiscriminate and we join with Police Scotland in appealing for information.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Gary Cunningham, Wildlife Crime lead for Police Scotland, said: “Scotland’s rich, rare and diverse wildlife and landscapes are among its biggest attractions. We cannot allow the indiscriminate use of poisons and pesticides to threaten our natural heritage. Police Scotland, working with our key partners, is committed to protecting our wildlife habitats and to bringing those who seek to destroy or harm it, to justice.”

Please contact Police Scotland on 101 if you have information about this crime, quoting crime reference number CF0160960720. You can also report information anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


If you’d like the First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon) and her Environment Cabinet Secretary (Roseanna Cunningham) to know how angry this news makes you feel, please send POLITE but strongly-worded emails to:


UPDATE 27th July 2020: RSPB responds to news of poisoned eagle found on grouse moor in Cairngorms National Park (here)

UPDATE 28th July 2020: More on the poisoned sea eagle found dead on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park (here)

UPDATE 29th July 2020: Poisoned sea eagle: inadequate response from Scottish Government (here)

UPDATE 29th July 2020: Poisoned sea eagle: strong response from Scottish Greens (here)

UPDATE 29th July 2020: Poisoned sea eagle: Scottish Ministers under increasing pressure to act (here)

UPDATE 29th July 2020: Poisoned sea eagle: Chris Packham’s letter to Scottish Ministers (here)

UPDATE 30th July 2020: Poisoned sea eagle: poor response from Cairngorms National Park Authority (here)

UPDATE 31st July 2020: Cairngorms National Park, Scotland: where eagles are poisoned, trapped & shot (here)

UPDATE 12th August 2020: Former Sea Eagle Project Officer explains devastating personal impact of ongoing illegal persecution on grouse moors (here)

118 thoughts on “Satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle found poisoned on grouse moor in Cairngorms National Park”

  1. this couple of bad apples sure do get about. we need licensing now and good licencing, not wishy-washy loophole-ridden licensing. if the extremest idiots at C4PMCs actually give a shit about moorland communities then they would be outing these people in the industry as it is them that are going to be the demise of shooting.

    1. YP how will licensing help this shit? It is a pipe dream and if we do get licensing it will undoubtedly be “wishy-washy” by design. Only a ban will stop this shit and take note: a licensing system will only prolong this agony. My heart bleeds.

      1. although I wouldnt shed a tear if the grouse shooting industry folded tomorrow, we have to be realistic. A ban is never going to happen before licencing while we have a tory government, therefore a licencing scheme that works and actually takes away the ability to shoot and make money from a moor/estate for several years will act as a deterrent. Of course not all will be deterred – murder comes with a life in prison but some people still carry it out. In addition, we need total reform in the uplands from banning snares, banning burning, more police powers, overhaul of the subsidy system, proper vicarious liability (not like the plastic one currently in scotland), proper land management, large scale sat tagging funded by government and the removal of firearms licences at the sniff of illegality. And thats before we get into no native gamebird releases and subsidised forearm and shotgun licences.

        1. ‘A ban is never going to happen before licensing while we have a tory government,’
          This happened in Scotland. It is a devolved matter and it is on the SNP.
          We could have had a ban.

        2. I strongly disagree YP in that a ban could happen north of the border – remember that a similar argument was made against fox hunting. So, I put it to you YP do you not think that licensing will actually prolong DGS (by decades) – and all its ills – rather than mitigate some aspects of it? If the Scottish Government introduced licensing then they would file it under ‘sorted’ and campaigners guns would be spiked thus: RSPB (and others, say, 2 years form now):
          “Er, Scottish Government, can you now ban DGS as this licensing thingy is a bit duff?”
          SG: “Naff off we did what you asked and it is problem solved and besides SNH have it all under control.”
          RSPB: “Boohoo! I wish we’d never asked for licensing.”

          Campaigning for something that you do not truly want (licensing of DGS) is folly and very poor campaign tactics indeed. It is also admitting defeat before you’ve started. We need to be resolute and BRAVE as the bastards that we are talking about will stop at nothing to keep their ‘sports’.

          The Tories will never do anything against bloodsports so England is lost for a good while yet…

    2. There is a very obvious reason that the members of C4PMC don’t condemn raptor persecution incidents on grouse moors and out the culprits, its not difficult to understand. Frankly we know that the Westminster Gov’t doesn’t give a shit about this sort of crime on land owned by their grouse shooting mates and supporters. However be that as it may when are the Holyrood shower from the SNP actually going to stop sitting on their hands and fulfil all the promises and report conclusions. It is after all time the criminals, their sponsors, supporters, apologists and employers all had a very nasty comeuppance, indeed it is long overdue.

      1. yes I think we all know they are just an extremest lobby group set up to sound like a bunch of hard done to gamekeepers. theyre just another layer of shite in the cesspit of DGS

        1. You use strong language YP and yet you do not tell us how you envisage licensing working. Please enlighten us because as far as I’m concerned it would cost so much to police properly that it would be impossible. A ban is immediate, is far cheaper and doesn’t allow anybody to say after licensing “ well, we will have to give it 20 years to work”.

          1. id far sooner see an end to grouse shooting and gamekeepering full stop. My point was i dont think its realistic to get a ban anytime soon. I hope im wrong, i was merely playing devils advocate. Whatever happens the end result is what matters ie no raptors persecured etc. Licensing may be good or dreadful as could a ban. Fox hunting is “banned” but it doesnt stop it happening twice a week right across england and scotland

          2. “you do not tell us how you envisage licensing working”

            Those who have suggested licensing as a potential way forward have written about it (Ed Hutchings).

            There is hardly any aspect of life in the UK which is not subject to one form of licensing or another.

            The way to get such a license to work within a crime-riddled industry such as shooting estates is to place the burden of proof (that Driven Grouse Shooting causes no environmental harm) upon the licensee.

            Think of it as like an MOT for Grouse Shooting Moors: without an independent ecologist (garage) certifying that a shooting estate has all the bio-diversity and bio-abundance expected of such an environment, including water services (emissions, mechanical safety etc) then no license can be issued, and without such a license no insurance could be obtained by the shooting estate to carry on its business.

            You do not have to prove a crime – any crime – for an estate to fail its MOT. The estate’s land is simply subject to the independent assessment of an ecologist. If that ecologist thinks that raptor numbers are below the range expected, then the estate fails its MOT. If that ecologist thinks that water quality is poor, the estate fails its MOT. If that ecologist thinks that predator numbers are below the range expected, the estate fails its MOT.

            And, just like every motorist, the estate pays for the annual assessment.

            Crooked garages loose their license to carry on their business, and the same would apply to crooked accredited assessment ecologists. After all, there are plenty of expert eyes on the moors who would be only too ready to point out fake reports. If challenged, the ecologist would have to produce evidence of the raptors, breeding or otherwise, in the area. The range and age of the flora would also form part of the moorland MOT…

            Could Driven Grouse Shooting co-exist with that level of legal scrutiny?

            Parliamentarians tend to prefer licensing… The Shooting industry would want any such license conditions to be severely watered down, so its success would depend entirely upon its wording.

            1. Pie in the sky/cloud cuckoo land/utter nonsense/land of milk and honey Keith. How’s the existing enforcement situation going that gives you such faith in that license claptrap that you’re so fond of?

    3. Dear First Minister,

      Please take action to ban the harming of wild fauna, especially rare animals like sea eagles. One was found poisoned, and this is a disgrace.

      Please make non-loophole, unambiguous legislation about this.
      F. Caldwell

  2. I’m lost for words Ruth. What has got to happen before all this comes to an end. There was enough poison in the buzzard that was found in Yorkshire to kill a child. It’s only a matter of time before someone is killed. Then what will their excuses be. It astounds me how anyone can actually think that this is okay to do. The propaganda and lies they throw out to cover up and try and hide what is going on, making the general public non the wiser. Someone needs to go behind bars for this, and for a very long time.

  3. Poisoning is so indiscriminate in what it kills. It will only take a 2 year old wandering a few metres from a distracted family on a picnic that ends up playing with laced bait. Then just watch the rain of fire and hell that will be let loose on the driven grouse industry if that child dies.

  4. This makes me physically sick and so very angry. Right up there with the golden eagle with a trap on its leg and the many ‘missing’ Hen Harriers… all majestic species that are Scottish wildlife highlights. Before your blog, I was unaware of the scale of raptor persecution nor how intensively managed grouse moors are for a few rich elite. The power grouse estates hold and their apparent impunity to commit organised wildlife crime with no consequences not only is a national disgrace but the inaction of Westminster undermines democracy. How can a ‘sport’ so rife with criminality and wildlife destruction be supported by parliament and MSM? This has gone way beyond the need for licences… driven grouse shooting must be banned and soon. Thank you for all your hard work.

  5. Police have to show they are actually doing something to detect and prevent these crimes…it happens in all other areas of crime so why not wildlife crime.

    Everyone knows (including the police) who is committing these crimes however no proactive enforcement is undertaken.

    Sitting back and waiting on the next dead raptor cannot continue.

    The current system is not preventing or even reducing the level of persecution.

    Proper enforcement is required now….press releases are could but are not an alternative to robust enforcement action.

  6. Sickening beyond belief, these people will not be happy until every bird of prey is killed, guardians of the countryside don’t make me laugh that is just a mask they hide behind, anything that could predate on grouse must be wiped out.

  7. We’ve been at the tipping point many times before. Yet Tim Baynes, for Scottish Land & Estates, continues to deny there is a problem, on the contrary he claims the problem (i.e. illegal persecution) is at “an all-time low” citing stats derived from proved poisoning, trapping and shooting. One more will make no difference to those stats and I predict that he and the other apologists, including some big organisatiions with “conservation” in their name, will continue to claim there is no problem, thereby simply encouraging more of what we see here…

    1. As predicted, SGA use this case not to advocate that raptor persecution should end ” Sea eagles can pose problems in land management, something which is well documented, but this is absolutely the wrong way to address a conflict” but simply to say that poisoning should, and claim credit for that. Most of their supporters agree, as the stats do show a decline, but illegal killings continue by other routes. If they wanted that to change too they would start doing what “we could to address the issue within our own industry”, but it’s clearly apparent that they don’t … and they continue to tolerate other routes to addressing the conflict, i.e. those that leave no unwelcome evidence.

  8. RPUK : “We’ll have much, much more to say about this latest crime”

    In view of that I will desist from commenting about the time lag since discovery.

    What can anyone say about that lot in Holyrood. If ever a party wore an appropriate colour it was that gaggle of yellow-bellied, yellow-backed lemons.

    Any remotely reasonable person would say that the Rubicon has now been crossed. It hasn’t ………… Holyrood is hotbed of cold feet. Look forward to plenty hot air.

    [Ed: Hi Dougie – the time lag was caused by the corona virus. The toxicology labs were closed, just like everything else, and are now trying to clear a backlog]

  9. This persecution is indefensible. These rare magnificent creatures must be protected and conserved . The grouse shooting industry is now totally tarnished with these no. Stop raptor poisonings . To see this incredible majestic creatures lying dead on the ground having suffered an agonising death whilst just trying to survive or feed young is horrific . Criminal
    Acts need suitable punishments before our skies are left empty again

    1. Yes, I can see the imminent press release from the wildlife-crime-industry-apologists about: ‘bad apples’, ‘assisting the police as much as possible’, ‘educating our members’, ‘the eagle could have been killed elsewhere’, ‘conservation is our No. 1 priority’, ‘we are guardians of the countryside, blah, blah’ etc. etc.

      The sad truth is we will all be having this very same discussion soon, it’s just a case of when…

      1. See below from Jim Wheeler, evidence from police not good enough for him, seeking to cast doubt on crime; there will be plenty more towing that line as they always do…

  10. Tipping point, I don’t think so. The SNP are too feart to upset rich powerful landowners . Progressive government my arse. There’s not even enough progress been made to permit where this dispicable crime took place!

  11. What type of pesticide was used? Did it die from secondary poisoning ie from slugs? All a bit suspicious because of no serious evidence!

    1. That was quick Tony. Nothing like the rapid deployment of a fun-killer’s smokescreen or is it just BULLSHIT.

    2. Slugs my arse! are you taking the piss or what, the likelihood of secondary poisoning from legitimate use is very close to zero. If such was the case there would have been no press release or are the apologists for wildlife crime now calling the police liars! Get real.

  12. The inaction of all UK governments in failing to address effectively the poisoning and other persecution of protected raptors has reached a new low point with this crime. There needs to be more action, a greater desire by Procurators to prosecute, and possibly a new law with meaningful penalties that makes owners of grouse moors responsible if illegally killed raptors are found on their land and a direct perpetrator cannot be identified.

  13. Please support my petition

    Proscutions for the illegal killing of raptors are very rare. This is because it is very difficult to prove who carried out the killings in remote areas and the owners of the land can always claim it was not done on their behalf, and that they knew nothing about it. Whilst there is little fear of prosecution, these killings will continue. If the law is changed so that landowners are strictly liable, they will have to prove that the killing was not carried out by them or members of their staff.

    1. Signed- lets hope you get sufficient signatures to generate a debate in parliament.

      Come on everyone- please sign this petition,
      – and lets generate so much noise that politicians can not ignore what is happening.

  14. Looks like somebody was careless and used the old method that would be identified by these new fangled sat tags. I wonder how many other WTEs have been disposed off more carefully? All the time, effort and money to bring these birds back at various reintroductions wasted through the selfishness of those who want to shoot loads and loads of grouse for fun. Approx 40% of the CNP, the largest in the UK, is grouse moor. We could be doing a proper large scale rewilding effort there and even bring back the lynx. Instead we have a magnificent bird of prey become a poisoned heap of feathers. Apart from a tiny number of blood spilling fanatics the rest of us lose out. This is truly pathetic.

    1. in both england and wales national park authorities and AONBs need more powers to help tackle this. They are merely impotent bystanders given their current powers

  15. While i find it abhorrent that this eagle has died from poison,And IF it is a deliberate act then that person needs the maximum penalty available, But until there is a copy of the tracking movement made available , and the poison used is identified, it is conjecture what has happened.there are many possibilities , it may have been a poisoned rodent etc. very suspicious is the fact this was in April with no report, but released now ,just before the Grouse season starts. not a coincidence is it? I have no interest in Grouse shooting, but i prefer the truth where it matters about people`s work and income.

    1. Jim,

      Read the blog again. This is a press release from Police Scotland, it isn’t ‘conjecture’. This is another illegally poisoned eagle, found on a grouse moor, in an area where other illegally poisoned eagles have been discovered.

      Why would the police release the toxicology report to you? Why would they release the tracking data to you?

      The delayed report is due to the coronavirus – you know, that little thing that shut down the whole bloody country, toxicology labs included.

      1. Go easy on old Jim Ruth, he’s obviously a bit slow on the uptake. After all I had a similar situation a few years ago and I was really concerned when my house got broken into – after a few others on the street had similar – about the truth regarding the poor old burglar’s “work and income”. Of course the other explanation was that the whole thing was staged by the police, but, oddly I’m sure I had a HiFi and a telly in my lounge before the event. Poor, misunderstood burglar and silly old me.

        1. Yes but what about the burglar, house burglary has been going on for centuries, and is a traditional source of employment in certain areas (just look at the TV show porridge to see the type of lovable wag that’s involved). We shouldn’t be distracted by the misinformation of certain websites, we should recognise house burglary for all its tradition and economic benefits.

      2. I have read it several times. I Think a toxicology report and a Map of its movement would prove/disprove to the public what happened. Similar to a inquest. Unless of course, there is something to hide, why not make it available? not going to change anything but help with the truth.

            1. The police have access to the tracking data and they will have reasons for not publishing the poison details. you have no need of either or do you think the police lie? You are the one believing lies, so either wise up or go put your head back in the sand.

    1. Could not have put it better myself Alan. There is a much greater case to ban DGS than there ever was against fox hunting.

    2. As much use as licensing the mafia (the other one).
      As Mark Avery made clear in Inglorious, driven grouse shooting is dependent on wildlife crime. Hen Harriers if ‘allowed in’ kill the Red Grouse which the shooters want to kill, both can’t co-exist. If Hen Harriers aren’t tolerated who thinks they will allow eagles and Peregrines.
      Licensing criminality is not a solution and compromising with criminals is insane.
      Giving politicians a compromise solutions has delayed the ban by several decades.

  16. How far could this bird have flown before it was too sick to stay in the air? So what would happen with a licencing system in place ? Would all estates where the poisoning could have taken place be sanctioned? Of course not, don’t be silly.

    Licencing will be a poisoner’s charter. Only a complete ban on driven grouse shooting and the introduction of a penalty system similar to the one in Spain is going to make any inroads on illegal persecution.

    1. Chloralose it could have flown some way but not that far, a carbamate ( carbofuran, Bendiocarb, aldrin etc) fairly rapid acting death, so it won’t have gone far at all. I’d love a Spanish type penalty system for killer and instigator both.

    2. A quick look found nothing about this on the Cairngorms Nat Park website. Perhaps others would like to contact them?

      1. You won’t see anything on the CNP site.
        In my opinion, the CEO is the pockets of the grouse moor managers.
        You couldn’t make this shit up.
        It’s a national scandal.

        1. IF that is the case, a senior civil servant payed by taxpayers money colluding with criminals should loose their job in my opinion

    1. I’ll be very interested to read the RSPB’s response to this disgrace/tragedy/predictable event. Will they be so eager for DGS licensing now?

  17. May I suggest that it is time a law was brought in to stop the persecution of Raptors and cruelty to all beautiful creatures roaming wild in Scotland. I abhor animal cruelty of any kind and would love to see custodial sentences brought in for all of them

    1. Jennie,
      There is a law (several of them as it happens). It is ignored and not enforced. That is the problem – time after time after time ad nauseam. Criminals break the law – endlessly. The problem is not so much lack of law as an overwhelming failure of those in government (who make the laws) to ensure that the laws are enforced and the criminals are caught and convicted then punished (severely).

  18. Bastards.
    Let me guess.
    xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Away to write to MSP. This has to be the tipping point now.

  19. Please stop this. It’s not right for this generation of people. It’s barbaric and senseless.

  20. It is high time to act forcefully. These criminals need a hard lesson!
    It is time for an undercover investigation by the likes of Panorama TV. It is sickening and we have to get this ecocide under control. By all means, write to Nicola Sturgeon but only journalistic pressure will get things moving.

  21. Noooo this is dreadful, we watched these amazing raptors last year , why this now ? Shocked and really wondering how this can happen in plain sight.

  22. So they don’t know where or who poisoned the bird but let’s make sure we mention it was found on a grouse moor !
    How long had it been dead
    How much poison it had in it’s system
    Where else it had travelled
    And these days people wander all over the countryside so any body could have caused it’s death !
    I love watching birds of prey
    As I love Red Squirrels not that I’m likely to see one near me in the wild
    And yes I shoot

  23. I will be sending emails, it’s absolutely disgusting. I stayed in the cairngorms last year and the estate land was covered in animal traps and carcasses, these people have absolutely no respect for wildlife or the environment, it ruined my holiday.

  24. Dear First Minister, in this day & age, surely such barbaric acts of poisoning such majestic birds should be stopped. The excuse is that the culprits cannot be traced. I would suggest you might consider a new law that closes any grouse moors where poisoned/shot birds of pray are found automatically unless the land owner can prove their innocence.

    Thank you. John Blenkinsop

  25. Well, this is one bird with one tag. Albeit a very special one. I wonder how many “bread and butter” buzzards, ravens and crows succumbed to the same bait and are right now quietly rotting away within a mile or were gathered up and burnt? Nationally, what do we think the ratio of comfirmed poisoning cases are to ones that remain undiscovered? 1 to 100 at very least, I would bet. One day tags will be cheap enough to put on buzzards and ravens, and what a tale that will tell.

  26. I am writing to you as we can no longer stand by and do nothing about these beautiful magestic birds being poisoned . This is not the first time this as happened and I am appalled that this matter hasn’t been dealt with approximately . If for no other reason and incase the care of such a bird doesn’t rate highly on your agenda. Then maybe tourism , the mean reason people flock to our great country is to admire our landscape and the beauty it as to offer in the wildlife that we our fortunate to have here . Please do something about this asap thank you .

  27. This criminal destruction of our wildlife for the purpose of making money out of grouse hunting – a further abuse of our wildlife must end now. Please take immediate action on this criminal behaviour. Protect our biodiversity and end the destructive industry of grouse farming and hunting.

  28. An investigation is ongoing but you have made up your mind it is an illegal poisoning. That’s clever.

  29. How terrible to target beautiful wild creatures so that RICH LANDOWNERS can have grouse shooting parties..or poison anything thats running around deliberately..killing should not b allowed to continue..for sport .. truly awful

  30. I shall be writing to the First Minister of Scotland and seeking an explanation of why this was allowed to happen in a National Park.

    With all that has gone on in Yorkshire in their national parks, Derbyshire in the peak District National Park and now this latest incident in the Cairngorms. There must be a growing call from the public to ban all forms of game shooting and hunting of wildlife in all of the UK’s national parks.

    And for those visiting this site and questioning whether the poisoning was deliberate- I have previously found bags of poison secreted in rock piles on a grouse moor in the Yorkshire Dales National Park- deliberately put there, presumably by the gamekeeper- the only person who would reasonably have the means and motivation.

    There are strong guidelines regarding the use of poison, where and how it should be used and the need to immediately collect the carcasses of the dead target species to prevent secondary poisoning.

    It doesn’t by accident find its way into a White Tailed Eagle.
    It gets there by a deliberate act of placing poisons in areas where they should not be used , in a manner that is contrary to the guidelines, and being reckless into what is killed.

    Enough is enough.

    Are we arriving at the point where it is so obvious that politicians are putting their fingers in their ears, their hands over their eyes and refusing to acknowledge what is happening, -that simply writing to MP’s will not bring about the necessary changes?

    Have we reached the tipping point, where the only response to the apparent position -that the democratic rule of law is being ignored by some of those with landed interests, that the only way forward is for the public is to protest? ..and go out into the countryside and disrupt grouse and pheasant shoots ?

    According to the Crown Prosecution Service-
    Freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully are protected by the law (both the common law and the Human Rights Act 1998). Under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which is given effect by the Human Rights Act, Articles 10 (Freedom of Expression) and 11 (Freedom of assembly and association) are most relevant.

    However, freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest are not absolute and the exercise of those rights can be restricted so long as any restriction:

    is prescribed by law;
    is necessary; and

    The police have various powers to deal with protests, and I won’t go into the full details. However the police do recognise the right to peaceful protest and the fact this will cause some disruption.

    This was the position initially adopted by founders of Greenpeace , who have gone on to be one of the most recognisable NGO’s in the world., and a tactic they still use to try and bring about change when “vested interests” are misusing their power.

    Is this the position that wildlife conservationists now find themselves in when dealing with “landed interests”?
    If no one is listening, should wildlife groups come together and follow Green peace’s example??

    I am beginning to think this may now be the only option!!

  31. Enough is enough. The rich kill to save their precious grouse, pheasants and other things the charge to shoot. Increase the penalty to a 2 year min jail term for the owner AND the employee.

  32. This killing has to stop Eagles deserve Respect and a Place in the System by the way which we the Humans are cocking up. Money doesn’t give you a Brain for that you need intelligence which you people obviously don’t have.

  33. Has the poison involved been identified in this case.? Woody

    [Ed: Yes, but the police haven’t named it, presumably for operational reasons. We just know it’s a banned pesticide, as usual]

  34. Can anyone answer why the scottish government seem beholden to these large landowners in scotland as with most MPs SNP or labour i cant see what vested interest they have. I can see why tories in England are reluctant to tackle the aritocrats, bankers and oilgarchs who own english moors as they are intrinically linked but i simply dont get the scottish governments inaction

  35. YET another disgusting Wildlife crime. WHEN will someone in power sit up and take this seriously.

  36. We need a new Panorama documentary making led by the RSPB and Chris Packham to inform the general public what is actually going on. What we see on RPUK is only the tip of the iceberg.
    The villains associated with these crimes need exposing and identifying.
    I am going to contact Sturgeon and her understudy, but also go further and make my concerns known with Boris Johnson and his Government for the whole of the UK.
    The time has come to lobby these people in power.

  37. need to get to the stage where the SNP are worried they will loose seats if they dont start tackling these criminals operating on grouse moors.

  38. There are no credible excuses for any human being to treat any animal with this level of cruelty and disrespect. Action must be taken to outlaw and enforce against this unacceptable cruelty and mindless violence.

  39. This is diabolical why would anyone want to harm a magnificent bird like the white tailed eagle

  40. I sent an email to Grant Moir (The CEO of Cairngorms National Park) this morning, because like all of you, I thought his response to the death of the young Sea Eagle was underwhelming at the very best. He replied 4 hours ago, so he is under pressure to respond more appropriately.

    He has responded to my email which I also sent to Raptor Persecution. Here is his email:


    I understand why everyone is livid and so am I. The Park Authority has always strongly condemned the illegal killing of birds in the National Park. This is an issue that has blighted Scotland for too long. As a Scottish Government NDPB we have to work within the current legislative framework and we do so vigorously working with estates and others across the Park to ensure that the species and habitats in the Park are conserved and protected. The CNPA does not own any land directly but on raptors we must do more and that is why we are waiting for the Scottish Government response to the Werrity Review and to consider how we can take this forward in the Cairngorms.

    There is great work happening in the Cairngorms on nature conservation but it is undermined by the illegal killing of birds of prey. We will continue to work with organisations across the Park to address this issue.

    It was an illegal act using an illegal substance. The Police are rightly leading on the issue and we are supporting them in this.”

  41. Dear Nichola and Roseanna,
    In regard to the latest poisoning of a white-tailed sea eagle, another rare raptor, using pesticide, more must be done to help preserve and protect these beautiful birds.
    A great deal of work has already gone into reintroducing the sea eagle, preventing its extinction, we must be resolute in our quest to preserve such an important part of our heritage.
    For any bird or other creature that dies such a cruel death, there can be no excuse. A vicious, indiscriminate act like this must be rooted out.
    Please do all you can to help find these criminals and bring them to justice and stop this heinous crime.
    Yours sincerely,
    Virginia Hart.

  42. I am beyond sad at learning of this. In bewilderment, horror & anger, I can see how we all are here, attempting to converse & learn about yet another assault on our natural world. Where can there be any rational coming together of intelligent minds who would communicate, while listening, and/or agreement without insult? Get on to speak out to the powers that be, who need to agree & work together, to make any positive change!

    There is no justification for this action of hate, & ruthless killing of this rare beautiful creature. Apparently, there is no justice, less that of our Mother Nature’s rathe, which will prevail in the end. Goddess, please help us from ourselves, before there will be no correction possible. I want & need to have some hope for the future. Scotland is the land of my ancestry, born a MacDougall & taught to be proud of it. I hate to think of this going on anywhere, but least of all where these beautiful creatures having been brought back from the point of instinct. A travesty is going on.

    I am glad to learn that anyone can address this important issue with the UK Government. I’m following this blog now. I also live in an area of the U.S. where Bald Eagles were reintroduced & thriving. This is near Clinton Lake State Park, Lawrence, Kansas. We have many resident, naturalized, breeding pairs, very near to my country home. I am rarely gifted by the sight of them & their grandly massive nests of our great trees. Just recently, I did see one, soaring overhead, high in the sky above my farm. In full flight, soaring alongside four of my resident Turkey Vultures. I craned my neck back, transfixed in awe of this majestic site. As they swooped & swirled together, I didn’t dare to turn away to run for my camera. It went on for a short time, as if they were in synchrony & communication, before the eagle left the gathering, directing itself to the west, back toward the lake area. I will never forget it.
    Hold Fast Scottish citizens & fellow Birders to work together to find a solution & fix this.
    I will be watching, listening, learning & writing.

  43. Can I have the email address to write to Nicola sturgeon, which was publicised on the white tailed eagle death report

  44. Appalling news. This beautiful bird poisoned, why? We need to protect them from this meaningless action.the government should step up to help.

  45. I think wild life crime is despicable and feel this is something we need to deal with urgently. It is intolerable cruelty and there is no excuse for the strongest action not to be implemented against the perpetrators. Investigate this now and penalise those responsible.

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